Desert lily, Ajo lily
The Mojave and Sonoran Deserts (AZ, CA, NV)
Deserts; sandy and rocky areas, plains, foothills
Up to 20 inches long, dark grey/green, linear to lanceolate, with wavy edges
The long, narrow, wavy-edged leaves of hesperocallis undulata grow only around the base of the thick, rigid stem, which can reach a height of 6 feet and bears many large, funnel-shaped flowers; each has 6 petals which are mostly pure white but have a greenish-yellow band underneath. Flowers point outwards in all directions. At the center of each flower is a cluster of long stamens, with yellow anthers and white filaments.
The plant inhabits the hottest, driest regions of the Southwest, flowering after the infrequent rainfall. The bulbs are edible, and have a taste similar to garlic. Hesperocallis is a monotypic genus, and the sole species has similarities both to the lily and agave families.