Calochortus leichtlinii

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Calochortus leichtlinii
Calochortus leichtlinii.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Calochortus
Species: C. leichtlinii
Binomial name
Calochortus leichtlinii
  • Calochortus nuttallii var. leichtlinii (Hook.f.) Smiley
  • Mariposa leichtlinii (Hook.f.) Hoover
  • Calochortus nuttallii var. subalpinus M.E.Jones

Calochortus leichtlinii is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common names Leichtlin's mariposa, smokey mariposa, and mariposa lily.[2][3]

The plant is native to the Sierra Nevada and Modoc Plateau of California and adjacent parts of the Great Basin in southeastern Oregon and western Nevada.[4] It grows in coniferous forest and chaparral habitats, including the lowest grassy hills—such as along the Sierra Nevada boundary with the Central Valley and agriculture.[5][6]

The small underground bulbs were eaten by the Native Americans.


Calochortus leichtlinii is a perennial herb producing an erect, unbranching stem up to 60 centimeters tall. The basal leaf is 10 to 15 centimeters long and withers by flowering.

The inflorescence is a loose cluster of 1 to 5 erect, bell-shaped flowers. Each flower has three petals 1 to 4 centimeters long which are white, pinkish, or dull blue in color and spotted with yellow and dark red or black and hairy at the bases.[7] These color patterns vary widely among different regional and local populations.

The fruit is a narrow capsule up to 6 centimeters long.

Leichtlin's mariposa
Yosemite National Park
Drift of Calochortus leichtlinii flowers Ansel Adams Wilderness


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