logo Calflora, a 501c3 non-profit
Taxon  Report  
Calochortus elegans  Pursh
Elegant star tulip,   Northwestern mariposa lily
Calochortus elegans is a perennial herb that is native to California, and found only slightly beyond California borders.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial
DJJJASONAFMM

Bloom Period
Genus: Calochortus
Family: Liliaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Monocot
Jepson eFlora section: monocot

Ultramafic affinity: 2 - weak indicator

Communities: Yellow Pine Forest, Red Fir Forest, Lodgepole Forest

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
JEFCalochortus elegans var. nanus
Information about  Calochortus elegans from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
Commercial availability unknown.
Jepson eFlora

USDA PLANTS Profile (CAEL)

Photos on Calflora

Photos on CalPhotos

Google Images

Photos on iNaturalist

ID Tips on PlantID.net

[Wikipedia] Description, Range, Edibility: Calochortus elegans is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common name elegant Mariposa lily, cat's ear, elegant cat's ears or star tulip.[3][4] It is native to the western United States from northern California to Montana.[2][5] It is a perennial herb producing a slender, generally unbranched stem up to 15 centimeters in height. The basal leaf is 10 to 20 centimeters long and does not wither at flowering. The inflorescence bears 1 to 7 erect bell-shaped flowers. Each flower has three sepals and three petals with very hairy inner surfaces and edges. Each petal is greenish white in color with a purple crescent above a hairless patch at the base. The fruit is a winged capsule about 2 centimeters long.[6] The bulb is a choice wild root vegetable when eaten cooked, and can be eaten raw to avoid starvation.[7] (link added by Mary Ann Machi)


Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 07/23/2024).