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Botanical Latin: Calochortus

Calochortus catalinae Calochortus (Cal o KOR tus)  derived from the Greek words kalos meaning beautiful, and chortos meaning grass

The members of this genus have strikingly beautiful flowers and grass like leaves. The genus is in the family Liliaceae and includes about seventy species native to western North America south to Guatemala where it grows in sunny grasslands and fields. California alone has 28 endemic species. Included in the genus is the mariposa lily (C. leichtlinii) and the sego lily (C. nuttallii) the state flower of Utah. All members of the genus are herbaceous perennial bulbs and bloom in the spring or early summer. Flowers can be white yellow, pink, purple, or streaked. The bulbs of various species served as food for both Native Americans and early Mormans.   Although a good choice for hot dry sites, Calochorti can be tricky to grow.