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Hesperocallis undulata (Ajo lily)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Hesperocallis undulata

Hesperocallis undulata A. Gray

Ajo Lily, Desert Lily, Desert-lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)


USDA Symbol: HEUN2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A rosette of long, narrow, blue-green leaves with undulating margins appears a month or so before the foot-high flowering stem which bears large, white, trumpet-shaped flowers resembling Easter lilies. Large, white, funnel-shaped flowers bloom in a stout raceme above long, narrow, basal leaves with wavy edges.

Conspicuous and easily seen as one drives desert roads, it seems at first glance an Easter Lily out of place. The bulbs of this species, the only one in its genus, were once used by Indians for food.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr


Native Distribution: S.w. AZ, s.e. CA & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Dry, sandy flats; deserts, gentle slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Pebbly or sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Spring flowers appear only after wet winters.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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