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 three 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. The third is Mariposa, the newsletter of the Calochortus Society, a quarterly issued between 1989 and 2005 and edited during those years by Hugh McDonald, Jim and Georgie Robinett, and Diana Chapman. Issues of this newsletter can be referenced from our wiki Mariposa page and other information about species from the newsletter has been added about individual species. McDonald has kindly supplied photos he has taken of Calochortus, many taken on his travels. To see them go to the Gallery of Calochortus photographs.

Although Calochortus have a reputation as being difficult to grow, raising them from seed is manageable given the right conditions. Here are some guidelines from PBS list members:

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

Calochortus amabilis, subsection Pulchelli, Alan HorstmannCalochortus monophyllus, subsection Eleganti, Mary GerritsenPhoto of Calochortus tolmiei, subsection Eleganti, Mary Sue IttnerCalochortus umbellatus, subsection Nudi, Bob WerraCalochortus eurycarpus, subsection Nitidi, Mary GerritsenCalochortus nitidus, subsection Nitidi, Mary Gerritsen

Photos of representatives of the different subsections of Marion Ownbey's section Mariposa

Calochortus splendens,subsection Venusti, Bob RutemoellerCalochortus venustus Pinnacles,subsection Venusti, Mary Sue IttnerCalochortus macrocarpus, Subsection Macrocarpi, Mary GerritsenCalochortus aureus, subsection Nuttalliani, Mary GerritsenCalochortus kennedyi, subsection Nuttalliani, Carolyn SaarniCalochortus ambiguus, subsection Gunnisoniani, Ron Parsons

Photos of representatives of the different subsections of Marion Ownbey's section Cyclobothra

Calochortus tiburonensis, subsection Weediani, Mary GerritsenCalochortus weedii, subsection Weediani, Bob RutemoellerCalochortus exilis, subsection Ghiesbreghtiani, Mary Gerritsen Calochortus pringlei, subsection Ghiesbreghtiani, Mary GerritsenCalochortus balsensis, subsection Barbatii, Mary GerritsenCalochortus purpureus, subsection Purpurei, Mary Gerritsen

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 species
Calochortus albus Calochortus amabilis Calochortus ambiguus Calochortus amoenus
Calochortus apiculatus Calochortus argillosus Calochortus aureus Calochortus balsensis
Calochortus barbatus Calochortus bruneaunis Calochortus catalinae Calochortus cernus
Calochortus clavatus Calochortus coeruleus Calochortus concolor Calochortus coxii
Calochortus davidsonianus Calochortus dunnii Calochortus elegans Calochortus eurycarpus
Calochortus excavatus Calochortus exilis Calochortus fimbriatus Calochortus flexuosus
Calochortus fuscus Calochortus ghiesbreghtii Calochortus 'Golden Orb' Calochortus greenei
Calochortus gunnisoni Calochortus hartwegii Calochortus howellii 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 venustulus
Calochortus venustus Calochortus vestae Calochortus weedii Calochortus westonii

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