Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Calochortus nitidus
broad-fruited mariposa lily

Distribution: Occurring in Whitman County in Washington; Washington to adjacent areas of Idaho and northeast Oregon.

Habitat: Meadows at low elevation.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Endangered in Washington (WANHP)

Pollination: Bees, beetles


Perennial herb from a deep-seated bulb, the stem erect, 2-4 dm. tall.


Basal leaf flat, 1-3 dm. long and 10-25 mm. broad, becoming involute, not exceeding the inflorescence; single reduced cauline leaf about mid-stem.


Umbel 1-4 flowered; flowers large, erect, purplish, with a deep purple crescent on each petal above the gland; sepals 3, shorter than the petals, ovate to lanceolate, pointed, glabrous; petals 3, obovate or oblanceolate, wedge-shaped at the base, gland lunate, covered with short, thick processes and banded below with a fringed membrane; stamens 6, style short, stigma trifid, persistent.


Capsule broadly elliptic, erect, 3-winged.

Accepted Name:
Calochortus nitidus Douglas
Publication: Trans. Hort. Soc. London. 7: 277, plate 9A. 1828.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Calochortus pavonaceus Fern.
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Calochortus nitidus checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Calochortus nitidus information.

E-Flora BC: Calochortus nitidus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Calochortus nitidus photos.

USDA Plants: Calochortus nitidus information.

7 photographs:
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