Desert lily or zygadene is a slender, glabrous-stemmed
perennial herb developing from a ± spheric dark-brown to black-colored
bulb and somewhat resembling an onion but without the smell or taste.
The unbranched erect stems are typically 12" to 20"
high. The basal leaves are 12" long and folded, and the upper ones
shorter. The flowers are on pedicels to 1-1/4" long and the
six elliptic perianth segments are much alike, yellowish to greenish-white
with stamens that are not quite as long as the perianth and styles that
are spreading or recurved. Desert lily is common below 5000' on
sandy flats and mesas of creosote bush scrub and joshua tree woodland
of the s. and w. Mojave Desert, but may also be found in the Colorado
Desert. It blooms in April and May, but may bloom earlier if conditions
are right. These pictures are from the eastern part of the Mojave
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Hesperocallis
Pronunciation: hes-per-oh-KAL-is un-dew-LAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical