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 Flickr Gallery of Calochortus species and natural hybrids. 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.

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 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 '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

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Page last modified on April 21, 2019, at 04:57 PM