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Calochortus gunnisonii - S.Watson.

Common Name Mariposa Lily, Gunnison's mariposa lily
Family Calochortaceae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Grassy hillsides and open coniferous woods[60]. Found in a variety of habitats from moist meadows and open woods to sandy and rocky hillsides and dry gulches between 1,200 and 3,300 metres[214].
Range South-western N. America - Rocky Mountains.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Calochortus gunnisonii Mariposa Lily, Gunnison


R.A. Howard @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Calochortus gunnisonii Mariposa Lily, Gunnison
W.L. Wagner @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Calochortus gunnisonii is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3. It is in flower from June to July. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

 East Wall. By. South Wall. By.

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers;  Leaves;  Root;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Bulb - raw or cooked[46, 105, 161]. One report says that the raw bulb tastes like a raw new potato[183]. It has a crisp nut-like texture and a pleasant flavour when cooked[85, 183]. The bulb can be dried and ground into a powder for making a sweet porridge, mush etc[85, 183, 257]. Leaves - cooked. It is hard to obtain a sufficient quantity[85] and use of the leaves will weaken the bulbs. Seed - ground into a powder[85, 183]. Flower buds - raw. Added to salads[85, 183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antirheumatic;  Miscellany.

An infusion of the plant has been taken internally to treat rheumatic swellings and to ease the delivery of the placenta[257].

Other Uses

Miscellany.

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a deep very well-drained fertile sandy soil in a sunny position and must be kept dry from mid summer to late autumn[1, 60, 200]. This is a rather difficult plant to cultivate in Britain, it is very cold hardy but is intolerant of wetness especially in the winter[1, 42]. It is easiest to grow in a bulb frame but is worth trying outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall, especially with shrubs that like these conditions[120]. Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage dies down in the summer and stored overwinter in a cool dry place, replanting in the spring[138]. The bulbs must be replanted immediately according to another report[1]. Bulbs frequently divide after flowering, the bulblets taking 2 years to reach flowering size[200]. This species is closely related to C. ambiguus[214]. Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required[1].

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Propagation

Seed - sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15°c[138]. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth[138], but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot[214]. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 - 7 years to come into flower[214]. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. The bulbs can be planted straight out into their permanent positions but in areas with wet winters it might be best to store them overwinter and replant them in the spring. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering. They can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Calochortus aureusMariposa Lily, Golden mariposa lily20
Calochortus barbatus 10
Calochortus clavatusClubhair mariposa lily, Arroyo de la Cruz mariposa lily10
Calochortus elegansStar Tulip, Elegant mariposa lily10
Calochortus luteusYellow Mariposa, Yellow mariposa lily20
Calochortus macrocarpusSagebrush Mariposa Lily, Nez Perce mariposa lily21
Calochortus nuttalliiSego Lily20
Calochortus pulchellusMount Diablo Globelily, Mt. diablo fairy-lantern20
Calochortus tolmieiTolmie Startulip20
Calochortus uniflorusLarge-Flowered Star Tulip, Monterey mariposa lily10
Calochortus venustusButterfly Mariposa Lily20

 

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Expert comment

Author

S.Watson.

Botanical References

60200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Beatriz Moisset   Fri Oct 27 2006

I read that: "Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required", but there must be some pollinators. Any idea what they are, is there a chance that some are going extinct?

Ken Fern, PFAF   Sat Oct 28 2006

The database entry for this plant (and for the other members of the genus)will be updated soon to explain that the need for hand pollination refers to plants grown in cultivation. It probably only applies to plants growing in moister regions than the plants native habitat. In the wild, the plant is insect pollinated.

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