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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.

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Calochortus nuttallii (Sego lily)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Calochortus nuttallii

Calochortus nuttallii Torr. & A. Gray

Sego Lily, Mariposa Lily, Sego-lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


USDA Symbol: CANU3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Growing 10-20 in. high, from an onion-like bulb, this perennialís erect, slender stem is usually unbranched and bears 2-4 linear leaves, 7-10 in. long. One to three very showy, white to lavender-blue, tulip-like flowers are borne atop the stem in an umbel-like cluster. The flowers have three large petals with yellow bases and three narrower sepals.

Occasionally petals are magenta or tinged with lilac. This is Utah's state flower; the Ute Indians called it "sago," and taught Mormon settlers to eat the bulbs in times of scarcity.


From the Image Gallery

11 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.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AZ , CO , ID , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , SD , UT , WY
Native Distribution: NM to the Dakotas, w. to ID & CA
Native Habitat: Dry, brushy or grassy slopes; desert high country

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, well-drained 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 need protection from gophers and moles.


Description: Plant seed in late autumn in pots, flats or outdoor seed beds. Corms reach maturity in 3-5 years.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter 1995 VOL. 12, NO.3 - Explore the Big Bend With the Wildflower Center, Education Director\'s Report, T...

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2008-10-02
Research By: TWC Staff

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