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Calochortus superbus

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About Yellow Mariposa (Calochortus superbus) Calochortus superbus is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common name superb mariposa lily. It is endemic to California, where it is a common member of the flora in several types of habitat statewide. It is a perennial herb growing up to 40 to 60 centimeters tall with a basal leaf up to 30 centimeters long which withers by flowering. The flower cluster is a loose cluster of 1 to 3 erect, bell-shaped flowers. Each flower has three sepals and three petals all up to 4 centimeters long and blotched with yellow at the bases. There is generally a darker spot within the yellow area, and the base color of the segments may be white to light purple or solid yellow. The fruit is an angled capsule 5 or 6 centimeters long. This plant resembles Calochortus luteus, a chief discriminant being the oval to crescent shaped nectary of C. luteus compared to the squarish nectary of C. superbus.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1.3 - 2 ft (0.4 - 0.6 m)

Flower Color
White, Yellow, Purple

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open grassy places, dry meadows,

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
178' - 8222'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 69.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.16"

Coldest Month ?
30.9° F - 51.3° F

Hottest Month ?
56.1° F - 78.2° F

Humidity ?
1.22 vpd - 26.55 vpd

Sunset Zones ?
7*, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment.

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Superb Mariposa Lily

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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