Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Calochortus macrocarpus (Sagebrush mariposa lily)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Calochortus macrocarpus

Calochortus macrocarpus Douglas

Sagebrush Mariposa Lily, Sagebrush Mariposa-lily, Bigpod Mariposa

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


USDA Symbol: CAMA5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

This is a stout-stemmed mariposa-lily, 8-20 in. high, with 1-3 showy flowers. At top of stout, erect, generally unbranched stems bloom 1-3 handsome bell-shaped, lilac flowers in a loose umbel-like cluster. Petals are purple with a central green stripe and often a purple band above the gland. The leaves of this bulbous perennial are grass-like.

One of the most frequent Mariposa Tulips in the arid Northwest. A white phase with a reddish stripe on each petal occurs in southeastern Washington and adjacent west-central Idaho.


From the Image Gallery

29 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 20 inches tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Purple
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug


USA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , WA
Native Distribution: N.e. CA & n. NV, n. to B.C. & s.w. MT
Native Habitat: Dry plains; sagebrush slopes; 4000-6000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Dry, usually volcanic, soils.
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. Bulbs will protection from gophers and moles.


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


Description: Plant seed in late autumn in pots, flats or outdoor seed beds. Corms reach maturity in 3-5 years.
Seed Treatment: 5-6 weeks stratification enhances germination.
Commercially Avail: yes

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2008-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back