Bulbs 1–3+, not rhizomatous, without basal bulbels, ovoid, 1.2–2.5 × 1–2 cm; outer coats enclosing 1 or more bulbs, gray or brown, reticulate, cells fine-meshed, open, fibrous; inner coats whitish, cells vertically elongate and regular or obscure. Leaves persistent, green at anthesis, 2, sheathing; blade solid, ± straight, channeled, semiterete, 10–40 cm × 1–3(–5) mm, margins entire or denticulate. Scape persistent, solitary, erect, ± terete, 5–30(–40) cm × 1–3 mm. Umbel persistent, erect, compact to ± loose, 15–30-flowered, hemispheric, bulbils unknown; spathe bracts persistent, 3, usually 1-veined, ovate, ± equal, apex acuminate. Flowers urceolate to campanulate, 5–7 mm; tepals erect, white or rarely pink, with red or reddish brown midribs; outer whorl broadly ovate to lanceolate, unequal, becoming callous-keeled and permanently investing capsule, margins often obscurely toothed apically, apex obtuse to acuminate; inner whorl narrower, margins entire, apex distinctly spreading; stamens included; anthers yellow; pollen yellow; ovary ± conspicuously crested; processes 6, central, distinct or connate in pairs across septa, ± erect, rounded, to 1 mm, margins entire, becoming variously developed or obsolete in fruit; style linear, equaling filaments; stigma capitate, unlobed or obscurely lobed; pedicel 5–20 mm. Seed coat shining; cells ± smooth, without central papillae. 2n = 14, 28.
Phenology: Flowering May–Jun.
Habitat: Dry plains and hills
Elevation: 300–2400 m
Alta., Man., Sask., Colo., Idaho, Iowa, Kans., Minn., Mont., Nebr., Nev., N.Mex., N.Dak., S.Dak., Utah, Wash., Wyo.