[The Mariposa Lilies of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily

Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa

Close-up of the petals of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inside of the flower of sagebrush mariposa as seen several miles west of Roosevelt, WA along Washington Highway 14.......June 16, 2009. Note the 6 narrow, elliptical anthers covered with lavendar colored pollen, the 3 lobed style and numerous hairs on the inside lower surface of the petals.

Characteristics:

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.

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 the Bend, Sisters, Redmond areas of Oregon, where a building boom is taking place, this wildflower is being pushed aside by construction of scenic, "wild" communities.


Habitat:

Green-banded mariposa lily is found in loose soil among the plains and foothills of the arid interior of the Pacific Northwest.


Range:

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.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-2600' from the Little White Salmon River east past Biggs, OR.


Sideview of the flower of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

The photo above shows a close-up sideview of the upper stem and flower of green-banded mariposa lily as seen in the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles, OR........July 7, 2006. Note the longitudinal green band on the outside of both the sepals and petals.

Sideview of the flower of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa) -- Close-up of the flower of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

Close-up photos of the flower of sagebrush mariposa as seen several miles west of Roosevelt, WA along Washington Highway 14........June 16, 2009.

Mature fruit of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa) - Mature seeds of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

Mature seeds of the sagebrush mariposa as seen at Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge.........September 22, 2017.

Flower of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inside of the flower of green-banded mariposa lily as seen from the Columbia Hills to the north of The Dalles, OR..........July 7, 2006. Note the 6 narrow, elliptical anthers covered with lavendar colored pollen, the 3 lobed style and numerous hairs on the inside lower surface of the petals.

Flower of Green-banded Mariposa Lily, Greenband Star Tulip, Sagebrush Mariposa Lily: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus (Synonyms: Calochortus douglasianus, Mariposa macrocarpa)

Close-up of the flower of green-banded mariposa lily seen on slopes high above the Klickitat River in the Klickitat State Wildlife Area..........June 28, 2009.

Paul Slichter