John's Nature Pictures

Palmer's Mariposa Lily

Calochortus palmeri var. palmeri   (Lily family)   This is a rare and endangered plant. I only know of one little stand. In recent years I've been by there and not found any alive at all. They are normally a soft pink color, with yellow hairs inside to protect the nectary gland. This one is an albino. Mariposa Lilies put up a stalk with one flower on it. Somehow they know how high the grass or shrubbery or what ever is. They put that stalk up only high enough to get the flower over top of what ever grows around the plant, that way it can be seen to get fertilized. So as the breeze blows the flower dances around and resembles a butterfly flittering around. Mariposa is Spanish for butterfly.

Picture #133 -  copyright © 1993 by John Sherman


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