E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Calochortus apiculatus Baker
three-spot mariposa lily (pointedtip mariposa lily)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ed McMackin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88769)

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Distribution of Calochortus apiculatus
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep, papery-scaled, egg-shaped bulb; flowering stems usually erect, 10-30 cm tall, unbranched, smooth, often with bulblets in the axils of the leaves.
Basal leaf solitary, linear to lanceolate, flat, 10-30 cm long, 5-15 mm wide, usually shorter than the stem, smooth, tapering to both ends, sheathing at the base, the margins entire; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence a terminal cluster of 1 to 5, erect or spreading, stalked flowers, above 2 or more narrowly lanceolate, unequal bracts; flowers yellowish-white, sometimes with purplish pencilling, bowl-shaped; petals 3, distinct, egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2-2.5 cm long, clawed, fringed on the margins and moderately bearded on the inside with slender hairs on the lower half above the claw, the nectar gland small, nearly circular, dark-coloured; sepals oblong-lanceolate with long-tapering tip, shorter than the petals, smooth; stamens 6, anthers abruptly long-pointed at the tips; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, ellipsoid, about 2.5 cm long; 3-winged, nodding; seeds many, straw-coloured.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic meadows, grassy slopes and open forests in the steppe and montane zones; locally frequent in SE BC; E to AB and S to MT, ID and WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Calochortus apiculatus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 440 1235 2130
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
5 189 311
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 2 5
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(8), BG(1), ESSF(41), ICH(14), IDF(91), MS(46), PP(27)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References