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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Gunnison's Mariposa Lily - Calochortus gunnisonii

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value:

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General Description
Stem 20–40 cm. Leaf blades 1–2 mm wide. Bracts 1–7 cm long. Flowers 1 or 2; sepals 15–45 mm long, marked with purple; petals greenish to purplish, 3–5 cm long; inner surface with a yellow-fringed, crescent-shaped gland extending the width of the petal, purple above and below; anthers apiculate. Capsule spindle-shaped, erect, 2–5 cm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety gunnisonii.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Gunnison's Mariposa Lily - Calochortus gunnisonii
*Basal Leaf: Channeled, similar in width, but shorter than stem leaves.
*Anthers: Apiculate (short, sharp tip).
*Sepals: Usually shorter than petals.
*Petals: White or yellowish to purple; greenish inside and sometimes purple-banded or -spotted next to gland. Green stripe absent on the outside. Tip not acuminate.

Bruneau Mariposa Lily - Calochortus bruneaunis, SOC
*Basal Leaf: Channeled, similar in width, but shorter than stem leaves.
*Anthers: Oblong.
*Sepals: Usually shorter than petals.
*Petals: White. Green striped on the outside. Nearly hairless on the inside (glabrate) near gland. Tip apiculate.

Nuttall's Mariposa Lily - Calochortus nuttallii
*Basal Leaf: Channeled, similar in width, but shorter than stem leaves.
*Anthers: Oblong.
*Sepals: Longer or shorter than petals.
*Petals: White to purple tinged, yellow at the base. Lacking a green stripe on the outside. Bearded on the inside, adjacent to gland. Tip apiculate.

Green-band Mariposa Lily - Calochortus macrocarpus
*Basal Leaf: Channeled, similar in width, but shorter than stem leaves.
*Anthers: Lanceoloid (round in cross-section; wider from base to below middle then tapering to the tip).
*Sepals: Usually longer than petals.
*Petals: Purple. Green striped on the outside. Tip acuminate.

The following Mariposa Lilies differ from those above in that their basal leaves are flat, much wider than the stem leaves, and often more than half as long as the stem leaves:

Baker Mariposa Lily - Calochortus apiculatus
Elegant Mariposa Lily - Calochortus elegans
Big-pod Mariposa Lily - Calochortus eurycarpus

Species Range
Present
 


Range Comments
MT south to AZ and NM (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 99

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)



Habitat
Usually calcareous soil of grasslands, sagebrush steppe, woodlands, open forest; valleys, montane (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

References
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Citation for data on this website:
Gunnison's Mariposa Lily — Calochortus gunnisonii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from