Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Calochortus gunnisonii, Gunnison's Mariposa Lily

Scientific Name: Calochortus gunnisonii
Common Name: Gunnison's Mariposa Lily
Also Called: Gunnison Mariposa Lily, Mariposa
Family: Liliaceae or Lily Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial;
Size: Up to 24 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems straight, not branching, spring growth from bulbs.
Leaves: Green; basal wither with the season, thin grass-like.
Flower Color: White to purple; flowers large and showy, campanulate, tepal similar in color; sepals shorter than petals, filaments shorter than anthers, lanceolate, fruit an erect capsule.
Flowering Season: June to August.
Elevation: 6,500 to 8,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Open plains and pine communities above 6,500 feet.

Recorded Range: Gunnison's Mariposa Lily is found in the central western United States of; AZ, CO, MT, NE, NM, SD, UT and WY particularly in the Rocky Mountains. In Arizona it is found in the northern half of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Calochortus gunnisonii.

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

Threatened/Endangered Information: Calochortus gunnisonii 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.

There are 2 varieties for Calochortus gunnisonii;
Calochortus gunnisonii var. gunnisonii, Gunnison's Mariposa Lily (Recorded Range above);
Calochortus gunnisonii var. perpulcher, Gunnison's Mariposa Lily (NM only).

Comments: Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Doubting Mariposa Lily, Calochortus ambiguus, Desert Mariposa Lily, Calochortus kennedyi and Sego Lily, Calochortus nuttallii.

Gunnison's Mariposa Lily been used as a veterinary aid, a ceremonial medicine and as a dermatological aid by North American indigenous peoples. See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 10/30/2015, 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; FNA, Family List, FNA Vol. 26, Page 122, 140, Liliaceae, Calochortus FNA Vol. 26 Page 122, 140, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 10/30/2105).
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/29/2015).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Calochortus gunnisonii', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 8 May 2015, 21:43 UTC, [accessed 30 October 2015]
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information