Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Calochortus elegans
elegant cats-ear, northwestern mariposa lily, elegant sego-lily

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to Oregon and northern California, east to Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Grassy hillsides and open coniferous forests, middle to high elvations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-June

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bees, beetles


Perennial herb from a deep-seated bulb, the slender stem 5-15 cm. tall.


The one leaf flat, 2-10 mm. broad and 5-15 cm. long, tapered at both ends, greatly exceeding the stem in length.


Flowers few, greenish-white, with a purple crescent on each petal above the gland, the sepal with a similar blotch, on slender pedicels that become deflexed in fruit; sepals 3, shorter than the petals, oblong-lanceolate, glabrous; petals 3, broadly oblanceolate, clawed, fringed laterally and bearded above the gland; gland surface naked, but fringed above and below; stamens 6, in 2 series; style short, stigma trifid, persistent.


Capsule elliptic, 3-winged, nodding.

Accepted Name:
Calochortus elegans Pursh
Publication: Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 240. 1814.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Calochortus elegans in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Calochortus elegans checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Calochortus elegans information.

E-Flora BC: Calochortus elegans atlas page.

CalPhotos: Calochortus elegans photos.

USDA Plants: Calochortus elegans information.

29 photographs:
Group by