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

Calochortus macrocarpus Douglas
Sagebrush Mariposa Lily (Fowl Mannagrass)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Werner Eigelsreiter  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7272)

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Distribution of Calochortus macrocarpus
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Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a deep, papery-scaled, egg-shaped bulb; flowering stems erect, 20-50 cm tall, stout, usually unbranched, smooth, sometimes with bulblets in the axils of the leaves.
Stem leaves alternate, few to several, linear, channeled, grass-like, to 50 cm long, decreasing in size up the stem, smooth, glaucous, curled at the tips sheathing at the base, the margins entire; basal leaves 5-10 cm long, withering.
Inflorescence of 1 to 3, terminal, erect, stalked flowers, above 2 or more very slender, unequal bracts; flowers pink to purple, rarely white, broadly bell-shaped; petals 3, distinct, narrowly egg-shaped, 3-4.5 cm long, green-striped longitudinally on the outside, on the inside bearded with slender hairs and sometimes purple-banded above a basal, arrowhead-shaped, densely hairy nectar gland; sepals narrowly lanceolate with long slender tip, 4-5 cm long, generally longer than the petals, smooth; stamens 6, anthers blunt; pistil 1, 3-chambered.
Capsules, narrowly lanceolate, 4-5.5 cm long; 3-angled, erect; seeds many, straw-coloured, flattened, with loose-fitting coats.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry shrublands, grasslands and open forests in the steppe and lower montane zones; frequent in SC BC, locally frequent in SE BC; S to MT, ID, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Calochortus macrocarpus

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) 250 728 2030
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 360
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 219 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: BG(235), ESSF(4), ICH(7), IDF(150), PP(122)


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