Bulbs 1–5+, not clustered on stout primary rhizome, rhizomes absent, renewal bulbs formed within coats of parent bulb, ovoid to ± globose, 1–2 × 0.7–2 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, gray to grayish brown, membranous, lacking cellular reticulation or cells arranged in only 2–3 rows distal to roots, ± quadrate, without fibers; inner coats white or pinkish, cells obscure, ± quadrate. Leaves usually deciduous with scape, withering from tip at anthesis, 2, basally sheathing, sheaths not extending much above soil surface; blade solid, flat, ± falcate, 8–15 cm × 2–8 mm, margins entire. Scape usually forming abcission layer and deciduous with leaves after seeds mature, frequently breaking at this level after pressing, solitary, erect, solid, flattened, frequently ± winged distally, or, in smaller specimens, ± terete, 3–12 cm × 0.5–2 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact, 5–30-flowered, hemispheric to conic, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 2, 12–14-veined, ovate, ± equal, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers narrowly campanulate, 6–9 mm; tepals erect, ± spreading toward tips, white or tinged with pink, with broad, dark, reddish purple or brown midvein, oblong to elliptic, unequal, outer longer, wider than inner, becoming papery and investing capsule, not carinate in fruit, margins entire, apex obtuse to ± acute; stamens included; anthers purple or yellow; pollen yellow; ovary obscurely crested; processes 3, central, low, rounded, margins entire; style linear, ± equaling tepals; stigma capitate, scarcely thickened, unlobed or obscurely 3-lobed; pedicel 3–12 mm. Seed coat dull; cells smooth. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering late Apr–Jun.
Habitat: Rocky, clay slopes and talus
Elevation: 1200–2800 m
Calif., Idaho, Nev., Oreg., Utah.