The photo above shows a close-up of the attractive flower of sagebrush mariposa lily as seen in southeastern Washington in the valley of the Grande Ronde River..........June 28, 2006.
Green-banded mariposa lily is a beautiful wildflower of arid places, which has a large, showy flower. It has a single stout stem arising from a deep seated bulb to a height of 24 inches. The linear leaves are grass-like, and have parallel venation. The leaves are deeply channeled, and three to seven may be found on the stem, with the upper being reduced in size, and often curled downward at the tip.
One to three large, showy flowers are found at the apex of the stem. These flowers are erect, and are white or more commonly a rich lavender color, each with a longitudinal green stripe ranging across the middle of the petal. The three petals are oblanceolate in shape. The three sepals are longer than the petals, are green in color, and are narrowly lanceolate in shape. Variety maculosus differs from variety macrocarpus in having white petals and a narrower, linear seed pod.Once widespread across the arid regions of the Pacific Northwest, this beautiful plant has all but disappeared from areas under cultivation. Furthermore, it is highly palatable to livestock, so it soon disappears from grazed lands. Hilltops and steep cliffsides where cattle cannot easily gain access are often the only places this plant can survive. In addition, a new danger exists. In such areas like those around Bend, Sisters, and Redmond in Oregon, where a building boom is taking place, this wildflower is being pushed aside by construction of scenic, "wild" communities.
Green-banded mariposa lily is found in loose soil among the plains and foothills of the arid interior of the Pacific Northwest. Variety maculosus can be found in high quality, natural grasslands. It is often found on basalt substrates on hillsides and rock outcrops.
Green-banded mariposa lily is found from southern British Columbia south through eastern Washington and Oregon and northern Idaho, then eastward across the Snake River drainage to southwest Montana (Flathead Lake at the north). It is found as far south as northeastern California and northern Nevada. Variety maculosus is limited to southeastern Washington, extreme northeastern Oregon and northern Idaho.