Elegant Mariposa Lily - Calochortus elegans
(see State Rank Reason below)
MNPS Threat Rank
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Many collections from NW Montana, several of them recent. May be sensitive to weed invasions. This species' status in Montana would benefit from periodic rank review and possibly inventory. We have mostly or only var. selwayensis, which is the most narrowly endemic variety of the three under this species. It is found only in eastern portions of north Idaho and adjacent Montana.
Stem 5–25 cm. Leaf blade 2–10 mm wide. Bracts usually 2, 5–30 mm long. Flowers 1 to 5; sepals 10–15 mm long, purplish; petals white; inner surface hairy, purplish above and below the fringed, hemispheric gland; anthers lanceolate, apiculate. Capsule ellipsoid, nodding, 1–2 cm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX)
Our plants are variety selwayensis
Hybrids of C. elegans and C. apiculatus are known in Montana, these hybrids will be unattributable to either species. We have at least C. elegans var. selwayensis, which is distinguished from var. elegans by the straight, shallow, short petal glands. Also, var. selwayensis tends to have fewer hairs on the petals. Variety elegans may be present in NW Montana near the Kootenai River, where it would be nearly sympatric with var. selwayensis.
WA to MT south to CA and ID (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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Map Help and Descriptions
(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Bedrock meadows, shallow soils and meadows in areas of Montana having a less extremely continental climate. Usually in open areas but sometimes in partial shade.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.