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Calochortus albus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LiliaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LILY FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb from membranous bulb or scaly rhizome. Stem: underground or erect, branched or not. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate, subopposite, or whorled. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, +- umbel-like or not. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 generally petal-like whorls, often showy; stamens 3 or 6, filaments free or +- fused to perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or +- so, style 1, entire or 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule or berry. Seed: 3--many, flat or angled, brown to black.
Genera In Family: 16 genera, 635 species: northern temperate. Note: Users strongly encouraged to protect plants by working around need to see underground parts in using keys, e.g., by trying both leads in couplets solely dependent on such characters. Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill. an historical waif in California. Other TJM (1993) taxa moved to Agavaceae (Agave, Camassia, Chlorogalum, Hastingsia, Hesperocallis, Hesperoyucca, Leucocrinum, Yucca), Alliaceae (Allium, Ipheion, Nothoscordum), Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis, Narcissus, Pancratium), Asparagaceae (Asparagus), Asphodelaceae (Aloe, Asphodelus, Kniphofia), Melanthiaceae (Pseudotrillium, Stenanthium, Toxicoscordion, Trillium, Veratrum, Xerophyllum), Nartheciaceae (Narthecium), Ruscaceae (Maianthemum, Nolina), Smilacaceae (Smilax), Tecophilaeaceae (Odontostomum), Themidaceae (Androstephium, Bloomeria, Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, Muilla, Triteleia), and Tofieldiaceae (Triantha). North American species of Disporum now in Prosartes.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CalochortusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Bulb coat generally membranous, occasionally fibrous. Stem: scapose or leafy, generally erect, generally branched, bulblets in axils of lower leaves or 0. Leaf: generally linear to lanceolate; basal leaf 1, persistent or not; cauline leaves 0--several, occasionally appearing basal, generally smaller upward, withering or not. Inflorescence: often +- umbel-like; flowers 2--many; bracts 0--several, generally opposite, often paired. Flower: perianth +- closed, spheric to oblong, or open, bell-shaped or +- rotate; sepals generally < petals, generally +- lanceolate (ovate), generally +- glabrous; petals generally widely wedge-shaped, occasionally clawed, generally hairy adaxially, nectary near base; stamens 6, filaments +- flat, often dilated at base, anthers generally attached at base or appearing so; style 1, stigmas 3. Fruit: capsule, septicidal; oblong or linear, generally 3-angled or -winged, chambers 3. Seed: many in 2 rows per chamber, flat, generally +- tan or +- yellow, translucent, or irregular dark brown, often net-like.
Species In Genus: +- 67 species: western North America, Central America; many cultivated. Etymology: (Greek: beautiful grass) Note: Bulbs of some eaten by Native Americans. Many taxa variable, difficult to key.
eFlora Treatment Author: Peggy L. Fiedler
Unabridged Reference: Patterson & Givnish 2003 New Phytologist 161:253--264

Calochortus albus (Benth.) Benth.
Habit: Plant leafy, +- glaucous. Stem: 20--80 cm, base bulb-bearing. Leaf: basal 30--70 cm, persistent; cauline leaves 2--6, 5--25 cm, lanceolate to linear. Inflorescence: flowers 2--many, nodding; bracts generally paired, 1--5 cm, lanceolate. Flower: perianth +- closed at tip, +- oblong; sepals 10--15 mm, ovate to lanceolate, appressed to petals; petals 20--25 mm, generally white to pink, +- elliptic, sparsely ciliate, hairs above nectary +- yellow, slender; nectary crescent-shaped, depressed, with several fringed membranes with yellow or white glandular hairs 1/3--2/3 petal width; filaments 4--5 mm, dilated at base, anthers 4 mm, oblong, short, abruptly-tipped, white to light pink. Fruit: nodding, 20--40 mm, elliptic-oblong, prominently winged. Seed: irregular, dark brown. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Common. Shady to open woodland, scrub; Elevation: < 2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: s CaRF, n&c SN, CW, n ChI, TR, PR. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun Note: If recognized taxonomically, plants with deep rose flowers from southwestern SnFrB and northern and central SCoRO assignable to Calochortus albus var. rubellus Greene. Hybridizes with Calochortus monophyllus.
Jepson eFlora Author: Peggy L. Fiedler
Unabridged Reference: Patterson & Givnish 2003 New Phytologist 161:253--264
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botanical illustration including Calochortus albus


Citation for this treatment: Peggy L. Fiedler 2012, Calochortus albus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 17, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 17, 2018.

Calochortus albus
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Calochortus albus
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© 2016 Neal Kramer
Calochortus albus
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Calochortus albus
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© 2009 Gary A. Monroe
Calochortus albus
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© 2015 Barry Rice
Calochortus albus
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© 2001 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Calochortus albus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Calochortus albus:
s CaRF, n&c SN, CW, n ChI, TR, PR.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.