Lily Family – Liliaceae
Lyall’s Mariposa Lily is also called Cats-ear, Lyall’s Star Tulip, or Lyall’s Butterfly Tulip.
Plant Description: Lyall’s Mariposa Lily is a 4 to 20 inches tall perennial herb with a single bract-like leaf about half way up and a 1 to 9 flowered umbel in the axis of 2 clasping, upper bracts. The single, grass-like basal leaf is flat and grows about as tall as the flowering stem.
Flower Description: The flowers are about 4 inches across, with tepals that are white or purplish tinged, with a purple crescent above the gland. The 3 petals are “cat-ear” shaped (i.e. have a long narrow base, widest at the center, with pointed tip) with a fringe of long hairs on the edge of the lower half and a few hairs on the lower surface. The 3 sepals are about the same length, but narrower, more pointy and without a fringe. There are 3 purple-green glands, transverse and arched upward, 6 stamens, and a short style with a 3-part stigma.
Ecology: Lyall’s Mariposa Lily is widely distributed on sagebrush prairies and on dry grassy hills and in open coniferous forests on eastern slope of the Cascades, at middle to high elevations.
Lyall’s Mariposa Lily Photo Gallery
Actual flower size: 4 inches across