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Calochortus lyallii – Lyall’s Mariposa Lily

Calochortus lyallii 2

 

Calochortus lyallii

Calochortus lyallii – Lyall’s Mariposa Lily – is a distinctive and long-lived perennial found in Canada in only a small area of southern BC, near Osoyoos.  The plant emerges from underground bulbs in spring and produces its flowers in June.  Each stem can form up to 4 flowers, which are predominantly white with inner dark pink markings.

Botanical Name: Calochortus lyallii

Common Name: Lyall’s Mariposa Lily

Plant Type: Perennial

Size: Up to 50 cm tall

Habitat: In Canada, the plant is only found west of Osoyoos in areas of open Douglas-fir and pine forests and natural openings of grassy meadow vegetation.  Dry sites with shallow and well drained soil at elevations of between 900 and 1300m.

Bloom Time: June.

Lyall’s Mariposa Lily is listed as a ‘Species Threatened’ in BC by SARA (Species at Risk Act) and designated as ‘Special Concern’ by COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada).  It is threatened by human intervention and trampling livestock but most of the area where it occurs has now been designated as protected parkland.  The plant is either self-pollinating or pollinated by insects and as its seed is only dropped nearby its seed dispersal is ineffective.

 

 

 

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