Alkali Mariposa Lily

Calochortus striatus

Alkali mariposa lily

Color: Lavender to white
Common name: Alkali mariposa lily
Latin name: Calochortus striatus
Height: 4-20 inches tall.

Description: Erect stems that carry 1 to 8 upright bell-shaped, flowers. Sepals 10–20 mm; petals 20–30 mm, lavender to white, sometimes rich pink, purple-veined. The middle of the petal has long, white, wiry hairs across the width.

Leaf: Narrow basal leaf approximately 10-20 cm long by 6-8 mm wide, usually withering by the time the flower is fully open.
Range: w Mojave Desert
Habitat: Shadscale scrub, chaparral, wetland-riparian, alkaline meadows, moist creosote-bush scrub.
Elevation: 800–1400 m.
Flowering time: Apr–Jun

Notes: Photographed May 2, 2008, Kern County and Lucerne Valley, San Bernardino County, Calif. May 19, 2010. A monocot, is a perennial herb (bulb) that is native to California and to Nevada. It is included in the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants on list 1B.2 (rare, threatened, or endangered in CA and elsewhere). Distribution outside California: w Nevada. It is threatened by grazing, urbanization. A unique population in Red Rock Canyon State Park, Kern County, Calif. has twice the number of chromosomes of other populations and is taller, more robust, with larger flowers.

Alkali mariposa lily photo by lara hartley


Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.

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