Herb: Butterfly Mariposa Lily


Latin name: Calochortus venustus


Family: Calochortaceae



Edible parts of Butterfly Mariposa Lily:

Bulb - cooked. A sweet flavour.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Bulb


Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
June
to July

Habitat of the herb:

Light sandy soil, often decomposed granite, below 2400 metres. In grassland and in mixed evergreen forests.

Propagation of Butterfly Mariposa Lily:

Seed - sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful for spring-sown seed, though this species usually germinates within two months without any treatment. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 6 months at 15C. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth, but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 - 7 years to come into flower. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. One report says that the bulbs must be planted into their permanent positions immediately, whilst another says that they can be stored overwinter and replanted in the spring. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering. Can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring.

Cultivation of the herb:

Light sandy soil, often decomposed granite, below 2400 metres. In grassland and in mixed evergreen forests.

Medicinal use of Butterfly Mariposa Lily:

None known

Known hazards of Calochortus venustus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.