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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Calochortus venustus Douglas ex Benth.
Butterfly mariposa lily, Butterfly mariposa-lily, White mariposa-lily
Synonym(s): Calochortus venustus var. carolii, Calochortus venustus var. purpurascens, Calochortus venustus var. sanguineus, Calochortus venustus var. sulphureus
USDA Symbol: CAVE3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
This species has a greater color range than most Calochortus spp., but is most often white. Each petal has a dark red blotch, often surrounded by paler blotches. The stems of this bulbiferous perennial are branched and bear grass-like leaves. Flowers occur in groups of 1-3.
The Square Mariposa Lily is a member of the lily family (family Liliaceae). Lilies are mostly perennial herbs from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms. The family is extremely complex and botanists estimate 250 genera and 4,000-6,000 species. Many, including tulips and day lilies, are handsome ornamentals. Asparagus, Sarsaparilla, onions, and the medicinally useful Aloe are from the family. A few species are poisonous.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Complexity: Simple Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Red , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: CA Native Distribution:
S. & c. Sierra foothills & s. & c. Coast Ranges of CA Native Habitat:
Grasslands; hot foothill woodlands; 1000-8000 ft.
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Light, sandy soil; often decomposed granite
Conditions Comments: All Calochortus spp. are extremely difficult in cultivation. Flowering bulbs must be raised from seed for any success and bulbs must be kept completely dry from mid-summer to late fall. Needs protection from gophers and moles.
BenefitUse Food: Bulb
consumed by indigenous peoples. Conspicuous Flowers:
PropagationDescription: Plant seed in late autumn in pots, flats or outdoor seed beds. Corms reach maturity in 3-5 years.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
- Santa Barbara, CA
Record Last Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff