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

Calochortus lyallii Baker
Lyall's mariposa lily

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #15664)

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Distribution of Calochortus lyallii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep, papery-scaled, egg-shaped bulb; flowering stems usually erect, 10-50 cm tall, occasionally branched, smooth.
Basal leaf single, linear, flat, 10-30 cm long, 2-20 mm wide, shorter than the stem, smooth, tapering to both ends, sheathing at the base, the margins entire; stem leaves single, bract-like, about at midpoint.
Inflorescence a terminal cluster of 1 to 4, erect or spreading, stalked flowers, above 2 or more narrowly lanceolate, unequal bracts; flowers white, often tinged with purple, bell- to bowl-shaped; petals 3, distinct, egg-shaped to lanceolate, 2-2.5 cm long, short-clawed, fringed with long hairs on the margins, pimply-surfaced and sparsely bearded on the inside on the lower half above the claws, the nectar gland arching upward, a purple crescent above the gland; sepals lanceolate with long-tapering tips nearly as long as the petals, smooth; stamens 6, anthers tapering to pointed tips; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, ellipsoid, 1.5-2 cm long; 3-winged, erect; seeds many, straw-coloured.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic forest openings in the montane zone; rare in SC BC; S to SE WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Calochortus lyallii

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) 1090 1847 2145
Slope Gradient (%) 15 44 75
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
90 181 282
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 2 4
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:


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

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General References