Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mariposa Lilies!

Who knew California had a wealth of native tulips? The Mariposa Lilies and their kin are right now flowering across the state, ranging across the spectrum in colors and sizes and shapes. Please leave them alone when you find them - they can always use our respect for their simple existence in the wilds that remain.

This is one of my favorites, from the Tehachapi Mountains of Southern California: Calochortus venustus, the red form. This species ranges from white through yellow, pink, red, and even some intense purple flowered forms, but this is the one I first met and still find the loveliest of a wonderfully diverse species. They can be grown from seeds with patience and care (our seeds are here, with more species being added as we harvest the seeds over the next two months).
These grow to flowering in between three and five years, and are well worth the wait. These are a festive marker of Summer being nearly here when they bloom, as many plants have all ready dried up for the season in the heat of late Spring.

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