Calochortus clavatus S. Watson var. pallidus (Hoover) Munz

Yellow Mariposa Lily
Liliaceae (Lily Family)


The beautiful yellow mariposa lily is a ± erect annual with stems that are glabrous and have a somewhat zig-zag axis.  It is a conspicuous fire-follower and is found on dry slopes in chaparral from San Luis Obispo and Kern Cos. to Santa Barbara Co. and northern Los Angeles Co., including the Santa Monica Mts.  The leaves are linear and grass-like, 4"-8" long below and reduced above, and are often withered by the time of flowering.  There are from 1-6 large and showy deep-yellow flowers rising from a common terminal point on the stem, markedly cup-shaped, with three lanceolate to ovate yellow sepals and three broadly cuneate to obovate yellow petals.  There is a round nectary that is sometimes marked above by a dark, sometimes faint, irregular band and is densely covered with yellowish clavate hairs.  The six stamens have long brown or deep purple anthers, and the three united carpels form a single pistil with a three-lobed stigma.  The fruit is an erect, narrowly lanceolate capsule about 3" long. Yellow mariposa can range to as high as 4000' and blooms from April to June.  These pictures were taken in the Conejo Open Space in eastern Ventura County.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Calochortus 2) clavatus 3) pallidus.
Pronunciation: kal-oh-KOR-tus kla-VAY-tus PAL-i-dus.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.


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