Calochortus – Fairy Lantern – Mariposa – Mariposa Tulip – Mariposa Lily –
There are about 60 species of perennials, in this genus. They occur from grassland and open woodland on the West Coast of North America and Mexico. They are grown for their showy, tulip like flowers, richly colored and patterned goblet shaped, often nodding flowers, with 3 large inner petals and 3 mostly smaller outer petals, borne in spring and early summer. The flowers have distinctive nectary near the base of each inner petal, often striking basal marks and conspicuous hairs inside. Species differ in the shape of their nectaries. The leaves are mid to gray green: lower stems leaves are grass like and 8-28″ long, upper stem leaves are shorter 4-12″ long. Often grown in a cold greenhouse or bulb frame, since they are intolerant of moisture when dormant in winter. In dry climates, grow in a mixed or herbaceous border.
Plant bulbs 4-6″ deep in autumn. Under glass, grow in soil based potting mix with added grit, in full light. Water freely when in growth, water sparingly as leaves die back, provide dry conditions when dormant (in summer for spring flowering bulbs) pot on just before growth begins in autumn
Outdoors, grow in an open site, in well drained, sandy, loam soil in full sun. Lift and store corms dry to protect them from rain when dormant and in winter. Can be divided.
C. barbatus – Cyclobothra lutea – This bulbous perennial from Mexico grows 6-12″ tall. It produces leaves 4-18″ long. In summer, branched, spreading stems bear 1 or 2 open cup shaped flowers, 3/4-1 1/4″ wide, usually mustard-yellow with purple hairs, but varying from yellow to purplish yellow. The nectaries are semi-circular. Sometimes produces bulbils.