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Weed's Mariposa Lily
Calochortus weedii

About Weed's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus weedii) Calochortus weedii is a species of flowering plant in the lily family known by the common name Weed's mariposa lily. It is native to the coast, foothills and mountains of southern California and Baja California, where it is a member of the chaparral flora. It is a perennial herb growing from a bulb, producing a slender, branching stem 30 to 90 centimeters tall. There is a basal leaf up to 40 centimeters long which withers by the time the plant blooms. The flower cluster bears 2 to 6 erect, widely bell-shaped to spreading flowers. Each flower has three narrow sepals and three wider and sometimes shorter petals, each segment up to 3 centimeters long. The petals are oval or wedge-shaped and may be any of a variety of colors, from cream to deep yellow to reddish purple. The petals often have reddish brown borders and flecks, and a coating of hairs on the inner surface. Don't expect it to flower every year. The bulb needs a few years to recover after flowering. The fruit is an angled capsule 4 to 5 centimeters long. There are two recognized varieties; var. intermedius is a rare plant with a more restricted range.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb

Max. Height
1 - 3 ft (0.3 - 0.9 m)

Max. Width
.5 ft (0.2 m)

Summer Deciduous

Flower Color
Cream, Orange, Purple, Red, Yellow

Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Dry slopes, canyons and mesas below 4,000 ft., typically with heavy or rocky soil, usually under low-growing sub-shrubs where the flower can stand above surrounding vegetation.


Elevation ?
17' - 6112'

Annual Precip. ?
9.7" - 44.0"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 2.08"

Coldest Month ?
39.6° F - 56.5° F

Hottest Month ?
65.1° F - 80.8° F

Humidity ?
1.17 vpd - 28.76 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sand or clay as long as drainage is good

Soil PH
6.0 - 7.0

Fast, Medium

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 0° F

Companion Plants
Use with chaparral shrubs and sub-shrubs such as Lotus (Acmispon sp.), Manzanita (Arctostaphylos sp.), Ceanothus sp., Spice Bush (Cneoridium dumosum), Bush Poppy (Dendromecon rigida), California Encelia (Encelia californica), Brickell Bush (Brickellia californica), Dudleya sp., California Fuchsia (Epilobium canum), Buckwheat (Eriogonum sp.), and various cactus and succulent species

Wildlife Attracted
Numerous insects are attracted to the flowers

Landscaping Information
Rarely Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Pest Control
Gophers will eat most types of bulbs

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment. However, it takes at least 3 years to grow Calochortus bulbs from seed. It is faster to plant bulbs that are a few years old

Nursery Availability
Rarely 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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