Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Calochortus nuttallii, Sego Lily

Calochortus nuttallii, Sego LilyCalochortus nuttallii, Sego LilyCalochortus nuttallii, Sego LilyCalochortus nuttallii, Sego LilyCalochortus nuttallii, Sego Lily

Scientific Name: Calochortus nuttallii
Common Name: Sego Lily
Also Called: Mariposa, Sego-lily
Family: Liliaceae or Lily Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 18 inches, usually much less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect slender stem, new plants emerge from bulbs, stems usually straight,
Leaves: Green; blade linear, grass-like, basal leaves wither as season progresses,
Flower Color: White, lilac, lavender-blue or pink, yellow at the base; showy large flowers up to 3 inches, 1 to 3 (4) flowers, flowers bell-shaped (campanulate), anthers equal filaments in size, anthers yellowish or pinkish, oblong, fruit an erect capsule.
Flowering Season: May to July.
Elevation: 4,500 to 8,000 feet, lower elevations in California 2,100 to 6,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Mesas, slopes and open pine forests; grassy slopes, brushy areas and desert high country in Texas.

Recorded Range: Sego Lily is found in the central parts of the United States and in the southwest, excluding California. In Arizona it is found in the northern half of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Calochortus nuttallii.

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

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: Sego Lily is the state flower of Utah. It is named in honor of Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859).

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Doubting Mariposa Lily, Calochortus ambiguus, Gunnison's Mariposa Lily, Calochortus gunnisonii, and Desert Mariposa Lily, Calochortus kennedyi.

Sego Lily as been used as dried food, candy and as food for winter 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 | Family List | Liliaceae | Calochortus, FNA Vol. 26 Page 121, 135, 136, 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).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Calochortus nuttallii', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 July 2015, 14:00 UTC, [accessed 30 October 2015]
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/29/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 10/30/2105]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information