Sego Lily

Arla M. Ruggles

Cherry Creek-Ely_NV, United States

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Wall Art

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Artist's Description

Eastern Nevada, USA

  1. Wildflowers Of The World
  2. The Herbal Collection
  3. All About Flowers




Views: 1,047 (2013.JUN.28)
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Description: The Sego Lily has 1 to 4 flowers, each with 3 white petals (and 3 sepals) which are tinged with lilac (occasionally magenta) and have a purplish band radiating from the yellow base. These appear in early summer. Plants are around 15–45 cm (6–18 inches) in height and have linear leaves.

Uses: The bulbs of this and other Calochortus species were roasted, boiled or made into a porridge by Native Americans and were also used as a food source by the Mormon pioneers in Utah.23 Currently, it is grown as an ornamental for its attractive tulip-shaped flowers.

State Flower: The flower was chosen as the state flower of Utah due to its importance in pioneering times and its “natural beauty”. It was formally adopted on March 18, 1911.

Distribution: The plant is native to a number of western states including Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.1

Taxonomy: The Sego Lily is a species within the genus Calochortus, in a sub-group generally referred to as Mariposa Lilies. The specific epithet nuttallii, named for the English botanist and zoologist, Thomas Nuttall, was ascribed to the species by the American botanists John Torrey and Asa Gray when it was officially described in 1857.

A number of former varieties of Calochortus nuttallii are currently treated as species in their own right as follows: var. aureus (S.Watson) Ownbey is currently Calochortus aureus S.Watson
var. australis Munz is currently Calochortus invenustus Greene var. bruneaunis (A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr.) Ownbey is currently Calochortus bruneaunsis A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr. var. leichtlinii (Hook.f.) Smiley is currently Calochortus leichtlinii Hook.f.
var. panamintensis Ownbey is currently Calochortus panamintensis (Ownbey) Reveal
var. subalpinus M.E.Jones is currently Calochortus leichtlinii Hook.f

Cultivation: Sego lilies prefer a deep, sandy soil with good drainage and are cold-hardy. Plants can be propagated from newly-formed bulblets which take two years to flower.

Canon 550D EOS
Sigma 70-300mm

Artwork Comments

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