Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Calochortus

View taxon page for Calochortus

(For a list of species in Calochortus, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Flower nodding; perianth ± closed, spheric to 

2. Petal white, pink, or rose

3. Sepal  to petals; lower nectary membrane 1/3–2/3 petal width; petal generally white to pink; s CaRF, n&c SN, CW, n ChI, TR, PR ..... C. albus

3' Sepal , not appressed to petals; lower nectary membrane ± = petal width; petal rose; c&s SN (Madera, Fresno cos.) ..... C. amoenus

2' Petal yellow

4. Stem generally  above base; petals > sepals, hairy; plant generally 10–100 cm, very glaucous ..... C. raichei

4' Stem generally branched above base; petals generally <= sepals, glabrous to sparsely hairy; plant generally < 30(50) cm, not very glaucous

5. Plant ± glaucous; petal deep yellow; KR, NCoRO, NCoRI, nw SnFrB ..... C. amabilis

5' Plant green; petal light yellow; ne SnFrB (Mount Diablo, Contra Costa Co.) ..... C. pulchellus

1' Flower  to spreading; perianth open, bell- or cup-shaped or ± 

6. Fruit nodding; petal ± not spotted or striped (or above-ground stem < 10 cm) (sect. Calochortus in part)

7. Petal generally > 30 mm, pink to ± purple; ne KR (Siskiyou Co.) ..... C. persistens

7' Petal generally < 28 mm, color various; widespread except s CA

8. Petal ± glabrous adaxially

9. Cauline leaves ± 0; s CaRH, SNH ..... C. minimus

9' Cauline leaves present; NW, n&c CCo, SnFrB

10. Stem 8–25 cm, branched,  0; s NCoRO, SnFrB ..... C. umbellatus

10' Stem generally < 5 cm, generally simple, bulblets present; NW, CaRH, n&c CCo, SnFrB ..... C. uniflorus

8' Petal ± conspicuously hairy adaxially

11. Petal deep yellow – CaRF, sw CaRH, n&c SN ..... C. monophyllus

11' Petal white, pink, purple, or blue

12. Petal  to obovate, ±  on sides but not tip

13. Petal obovate to wedge-shaped; stem simple or branched; NW, CaR, n SN, n ScV, n CCo, SnFrB ..... C. tolmiei

13' Petal lanceolate; stem simple; s SNH (Greenhorn Mtns) ..... C. westonii

12' Petal ± oblanceolate to obovate, ciliate throughout

14. Petal ± blue (purple crescent 0), ± smooth (not bumpy) adaxially; NW, CaR, SNH ..... C. coeruleus

14' Petal green-white, base dark ± purple, minute-bumpy adaxially; e KR, NCoRI ..... C. elegans

6' Fruit erect; petal spotted or striped (except Calochortus nudus, occasionally Calochortus palmeri)

15. Basal  ± persistent at flower

16. Petal light yellow-green, flecked purple-brown; n CCo (Ring Mtn, Marin Co.) ..... C. tiburonensis

16' Petal white to purple; KR, CaR, MP

17. Petal with red-purple crescent above nectary adaxially ..... C. longebarbatus var. longebarbatus

17' Petal without crescent adaxially

18. Petal 30–40 mm with dark purple crescent abaxially; nectary deeply ; dry places; < 1100 m ..... C. greenei

18' Petal 14–16 mm, without crescent abaxially; nectary ± shallow; moist places; > 1200 m ..... C. nudus

15' Basal leaf ± withered by flowering (except Calochortus excavatus, Calochortus syntrophus)

19. Nectary surface ± glabrous but ± hidden by bordering hairsbulb coat  – s CW, SW

20. Petal ± pink, generally toothed, not ciliate ..... C. plummerae

20' Petal tan, yellow, ± purple to red-brown, generally ± ciliate

21. Petal tip dark-hair-tufted ..... C. obispoensis

21' Petal tip , not hair-tufted

22. Petal margin fringed with 2 rows of hairs; anthers abruptly pointed; SCoRO, WTR ..... C. fimbriatus

22' Petal margin fringed with 1 row of hairs; anthers rounded; SCoRO, SCo, WTR, PR ..... C. weedii

23. Petal deep yellow ..... var. weedii

23' Petal light yellow or tan or dark ± purple to red-brown ..... var. intermedius

19' Nectary surface hairy; bulb coat membranous

24. Nectary ± round, clearly to ± depressed, encircled by fringed membrane

25. Petal generally orange to red ..... C. kennedyi var. kennedyi

25' Petal yellow, gold, or white generally tinged lilac or lavender

26. Petal white, tinged lilac, or lavender, green-striped abaxially; sepal occasionally dark-spotted

27. Petal base marked dark purple; bracts generally 3–8 cm; anthers red-brown – sw SNE ..... C. excavatus

27' Petal base white or tinged lilac; bracts 2–7 cm; anthers yellow, maroon, blue, purple, red or red-brown

28. Sepal base not spotted; petal obovate to wedge-shaped ..... C. invenustus

28' Sepal base dark-spotted; petal narrowly obovate

29. Petal with red or purple arch above nectary; nectary in yellow spot; n SNH, e edges c&s SNH, MP, s SNE ..... C. bruneaunis

29' Petal without dark arch above nectary; nectary in red or purple spot; n DMtns (Panamint Range) ..... C. panamintensis

26' Petal yellow or gold, not green-striped abaxially; sepal base generally dark-spotted

30. Perianth bell-shaped; nectary encircled by slender or club-shaped hairs; stem straight or occasionally twisted – SnBr, PR, n&e DMtns

31. Leaves flat or inrolled; nectary encircled by dense, slender hairs; stem straight, generally stout; SnBr (s slope), PR ..... C. concolor

31' Leaves channeled; nectary encircled by sparse, club-like hairs; stem occasionally twisted; n&e DMtns (Panamint, Clark Mtn ranges, Providence Mtns) ..... C. kennedyi var. munzii

30' Perianth cup-shaped; nectary encircled by club-shaped hairs; stem often zigzag ..... C. clavatus

32. Petal generally < sepal; nectary deep – n SNF (El Dorado, Amador cos.) ..... var. avius

32' Petal >= sepal; nectary shallow to ± deep

33. Stem generally < 30 cm, slender, straight

34. Petal 30–40 mm, sparsely hairy; leaves not ; WTR, SnGb ..... var. gracilis

34' Petal 40–50 mm, hairy; leaves strongly recurved; s-c CCo (nw San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... var. recurvifolius

33' Stem generally 50–100 cm, coarse, zigzag

35. Petal deep yellow, hairs very knobby; anther deep purple; s SCoRO, n SCoRI, WTR, SnGb ..... var. clavatus

35' Petal light yellow, hairs not very knobby; anther yellow to purple; w SnJV (and adjacent e SnFrB, SCoRI), n WTR ..... var. pallidus

24' Nectary not simultaneously ± round, clearly to ± depressed, encircled by fringed membrane (but occasionally 1 of these)

36. Stem bulblets generally 0 (except some Calochortus splendens)

37. Petal purple-veined, not spotted ..... C. striatus

37' Petal spotted, not obviously veined or striped

38. Stem twining or sprawling; perianth yellow-banded ..... C. flexuosus

38' Stem ± erect; perianth not yellow-banded

39. Petal white or flushed pink, red-brown-spotted above nectary, nectary yellow-hairy; s PR (s San Diego Co.) ..... C. dunnii

39' Petal lavender to deep purple, base generally purple-spotted, not yellow-hairy; c&s NCoRI, w edge SnJV, CW, w SW, SnJt, w edge DSon ..... C. splendens (2)

36' Stem bulblets generally present (except Calochortus palmeri var. munzii)

40. Petal bright or deep yellow

41. Nectary generally ± square ..... C. venustus (2)

41' Nectary chevron- or crescent-shaped to oblong

42. Petal pale yellow ..... C. argillosus (2)

42' Petal deep yellow ..... C. luteus

40' Petal white to pink, purple, lavender, or red

43. Petal light to deep lilac, lavender, or variably colored – generally with sparse white hairs near base; not striped, highly patterned ..... C. splendens (2)

43' Petal all or variably white, pink, purple, or red

44. Nectary ±  or oblong (occasionally ± round)

45. Anther  – CaRH, SNH, MP, SNE ..... C. leichtlinii

45' Anther not sagittate

46. Fruit narrowly oblong, not angled ..... C. catalinae

46' Fruit , angled

47. Petals generally 40–50 mm; nectary hairs slender; ne KR (near Yreka, Siskiyou Co.) ..... C. monanthus

47' Petals generally 20–30 mm; nectary hairs thick; Teh, s CW, TR, SnJt ..... C. palmeri

48. Nectary glabrous or purple-hairy; stem bulblets 0; bracts ; SnJt ..... var. munzii

48' Nectary yellow-hairy; stem bulblets present; bracts ; Teh, s CW, TR, SnJt ..... var. palmeri

44' Nectary 1–2 crescents or chevrons, ± triangular, ± square, or ± 

49. Nectary ± triangular-sagittate; sepals generally > petals ..... C. macrocarpus

49' Nectary 1–2 crescents or chevrons or ± square or ± elliptic; sepals <= petals

50. Nectary ± square

51. Nectary in red spot; 2nd, distal, paler petal spot 0 (present); seed 5–6 mm, 3 mm wide ..... C. simulans

51' Nectary not in red spot; 2nd, distal, paler petal spot generally present; seed 4–5 mm, 1–2 mm wide ..... C. venustus (2)

50' Nectary 1–2 crescents, chevrons, or ± elliptic

52. Nectary 2 crescents or chevrons ..... C. vestae

52' Nectary 1 crescent, chevron, or ± elliptic

53. Nectary hairs orange; petal light yellow basally;  leaves generally persistent; KR, CaR (The Cove, Shasta Co.) ..... C. syntrophus

53' Nectary hairs red-brown or brown; petal highly variable in color basally, often purple-lined near base; basal leaves generally withering; NW, CaRF, SNF, s SNH, CW, SW

54. Fruit lanceolate; w CW ..... C. argillosus (2)

54' Fruit linear; NW, CaRF, SNF, s SNH, CW, SW ..... C. superbus


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