Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Calochortus ambiguus, Doubting Mariposa Lily

Scientific Name: Calochortus ambiguus
Common Name: Doubting Mariposa Lily
Also Called: Mariposa
Family: Liliaceae or Lily Family
Synonyms: (Calochortus watsonii var. ambiguus)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 24 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; bulb-forming herb, stems branching.
Leaves: Green; basal, leaves linear.
Flower Color: White, pinkish, lavender or blue-gray with green center; showy, flowers erect, campanulate, filaments shorter than anthers, anthers reddish-purple, oblong-lanceolate, fruit a capsule.
Flowering Season: April to August.
Elevation: 3,000 to 8,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry slopes, chaparral and open pine forests.

Recorded Range: In the United States Doubting Mariposa is relatively rare found only in Arizona, New Mexico and the extreme southwest corner of Utah. Most abundant in Arizona where it is found throughout most of the state above 3,000 feet. It is also native to northern Mexico (Sonora).

North America & US County Distribution Map for Calochortus ambiguus.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.

Threatened/Endangered Information: Calochortus ambiguus is a protected native species in Arizona.

Genus Information: Over 50 species in Calochortus in western United States and Canada. 6 species in Arizona, 44 in California and 5 in New Mexico. The Plant List includes 74 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Calochortus. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Doubting Mariposa Lily is the most frequently encountered Mariposas in Arizona. It most closely resembles Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see Gunnison's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus gunnisonii, Desert Mariposa Lily, Calochortus kennedyi and Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii.

Date Profile Completed: 10/29/2015, updated format 09/27/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
P. L. Fiedler & R. K. Zebell | Family List | Liliaceae | Calochortus, FNA Vol. 26 Page 139, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 10/29/2015).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/29/2015).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Calochortus ambiguus', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 5 August 2015, 10:28 UTC, [accessed 29 October 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information