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Clay Mariposa Lily
Calochortus argillosus

About Clay Mariposa Lily (Calochortus argillosus) Calochortus argillosus is a species of flowering plant in the lily family which is known by the common name clay mariposa lily. It is endemic to coastal central California, where it grows in hard clay soils in the local mountains. This is a perennial herb producing an unbranching stem to heights between 40 and 60 centimeters. The leaf at the base of the stem is narrow in shape, reaching up to 30 centimeters long withering away at flowering. The flower cluster bears 1 to 4 erect bell-shaped flowers. Each flower has three sepals and three petals up to 4 centimeters long. The petals are rounded in shape and white to pink in base color with a central spot or streaking of red, purple, and yellow. The fruit is a narrow capsule up to 6 centimeters long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

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

Flower Color
White, Purple, Pink

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Hard clay from volcanic rocks


Elevation ?
23' - 2655'

Annual Precip. ?
15.4" - 46.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.21" - 0.40"

Coldest Month ?
43.9° F - 49.7° F

Hottest Month ?
65.6° F - 72.9° F

Humidity ?
0.66 vpd - 19.87 vpd


Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

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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