This is probably the most diverse genus of bulbs growing in the western hemisphere. Calochortus are found in western North America, Mexico, and south to Guatemala. Although some have felt that it has warranted its own family, Calochortaceae, currently more authorities are including it in Liliaceae. The greatest concentration of species is found in California.
There are two good sources of information on Calochortus. The first is: Frank Callahan, "The Genus Calochortus," in McGary, 2001 found listed in References. The second is Calochortus, Gerritsen and Parsons, 2007 found listed in References. The authors of this book, Mary Gerritsen and Ron Parsons, have provided a lot of pictures and information that can be found on the species Calochortus wiki pages. In addition, you can view photographs on Mary's Picasa Gallery of Calochortus species and natural hybrids. Hugh MacDonald, former head of the Calochortus Society, has posted a large collection of photos in his Gallery of Calochortus (note that the links in his gallery do not work in Firefox, Chrome, and Safari). Some other information found in our wiki pages was taken with permission from the issues of Mariposa, the newsletter of the Calochortus Society.
Kipp McMichael, a PBS list participant, had spent a season tracking and photographing California native Calochortus in bloom. He shared a written account, and photos, of his experiences in the discussion "Calochortus pursuits". The photos and some excerpts have also been added to the Calochortus pages here on the PBS wiki.
You can find much more detailed informationon Calochortus culture, including advice on soils, pots, and watering schedules, here: How to grow Calochortus
Photos of representatives of the different subsections of Marion Ownbey's section Calochortus
Photos of representatives of the different subsections of Marion Ownbey's section Mariposa
Photos of representatives of the different subsections of Marion Ownbey's section Cyclobothra
The diversity of Calochortus species is reflected in the wide range of English common names applied to the flowers. Unfortunately, the common names do not align cleanly with the scientific subsections above. But here is a quick guide:
For more information and pictures of the species, click on the pages listed below or on the species name in the table below.
Calochortus hybrids - Calochortus species A-B - Calochortus species C-D - Calochortus species E-Lo - Calochortus species Lu-N - Calochortus species O-R - Calochortus species S - Calochortus species T-U - Calochortus species V-Z
|Calochortus albus||Calochortus amabilis||Calochortus ambiguus||Calochortus amoenus|
|Calochortus apiculatus||Calochortus argillosus||Calochortus aureus||Calochortus barbatus|
|Calochortus bruneaunis||Calochortus catalinae||Calochortus cernus||Calochortus clavatus|
|Calochortus coeruleus||Calochortus concolor||Calochortus coxii||Calochortus davidsonianus|
|Calochortus dunnii||Calochortus elegans||Calochortus exilis||Calochortus eurycarpus|
|Calochortus fimbriatus||Calochortus flexuosus||Calochortus fuscus||Calochortus 'Golden Orb'|
|Calochortus greenei||Calochortus gunnisonii||Calochortus hartwegii||Calochortus invenustus|
|Calochortus kennedyi||Calochortus leichtlinii||Calochortus longebarbatus||Calochortus luteus|
|Calochortus lyallii||Calochortus macrocarpus||Calochortus mendozae||Calochortus minimus|
|Calochortus monophyllus||Calochortus nigrescens||Calochortus nitidus||Calochortus nudus|
|Calochortus nuttallii||Calochortus obispoensis||Calochortus ownbeyi||Calochortus palmeri|
|Calochortus panamintensis||Calochortus persistens||Calochortus plummerae||Calochortus pringlei|
|Calochortus pulchellus||Calochortus purpureus||Calochortus raichei||Calochortus simulans|
|Calochortus spatulatus||Calochortus splendens||Calochortus striatus||Calochortus subalpinus|
|Calochortus superbus||Calochortus syntrophus||Calochortus tiburonensis||Calochortus tolmiei|
|Calochortus umbellatus||Calochortus umpquaensis||Calochortus uniflorus||Calochortus venustus|
|Calochortus vestae||Calochortus weedii||Calochortus westonii|