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Calochortus elegans (Elegant mariposa lily)
Glase, Terry

Calochortus elegans

Calochortus elegans Pursh

Elegant Mariposa Lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A small plant with slender, bent stems and a few white flowers in a branched cluster shorter than the single grass-like leaf.

The name Star Tulip refers to the flower's shape and Cat's Ears to the petal's resemblance to a kitten's ear. Similar species are distinguished by characteristics of the gland and pod.


From the Image Gallery

25 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 8 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , ID , MT , OR , WA
Native Distribution: Southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon to western Montana.
Native Habitat: Grassy hillsides and open coniferous woods.


Use Food: Bulb consumed by indigenous peoples.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Calochortus elegans in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Calochortus elegans in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Calochortus elegans


Record Modified: 2023-04-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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