Mojave and Sonoran desert of southeastern California, western Arizona , southern Nevada and south into northern Mexico. up top 6,500 feet.
Heavy soil in open areas of creosote/brush desert or pinyon/juniper woodlands
One to six brilliant, red-orange flowers, 1 to 2 inches wide, bloom March through June. Each of the three fan-shaped petals has a maroon-to-brown splotch at the base. At higher elevations, flowers are more yellow than red.
Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly. A member of the Lily (Liliaceae) Family, this tall, slender, perennial shrub grows 2 to 18 inches high with thin gray leaves that are 4 to 8 inches long. Munz calls the Desert Mariposa Lily "probably the most beautiful of desert wildflowers."
The genus Calochortus has numerous species, many of which are called a "Mariposa Lily." They are also referred to as Star Tulip of Mariposa Tulip and can vary greatly in color, many of which are white.
Desert Plant & Wildflower Index