Golden mariposa lily
The Colorado Plateau - Arizona, New Mexico and Utah
Open places in semi-deserts, on sandy or clayish soils, from 4,000 to 7,000 feet
Narrow, linear, basal, greyish-green, up to 8 inches long
Calochortus aureus is a typically beautiful member of the genus, found in sandy places on the Colorado Plateau - southern Utah, northeast New Mexico, and, most widespread, in northern Arizona. It seems not to occur in Colorado.
The one or several leaves are basal, grass-like, long and narrow. Plants produce a single, hairless stem, a little longer than the leaves, topped by two or more flowers. The perianth is bell-shaped, with three pointed, brownish-yellow sepals and three larger yellow petals which are rounded at the tip but rise to a blunt point at the center. At the base of each petal is a hairy gland with a red/purple arch just above. The six stamens have short yellow filaments and slightly longer orange anthers, and are arranged around the three-pronged stigma.