Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 240. 1814.
Stems ± slender, usually not branching, often scapelike, 0.5–2 dm. Leaves: basal persistent, 1–2 dm; blade linear, flat, glabrous adaxially. Inflorescences 1–7-flowered. Flowers erect to spreading; perianth open, campanulate; sepals oblong-lanceolate, 12–16 mm, usually glabrous, adaxial surface minutely papillose; petals light green to white, usually with purple crescent distal to gland, ± oblanceolate or broader, 10–15 mm, adaxial surface hairy only distal to gland, margins conspicuously ciliate; glands lunate, usually slightly depressed, bordered proximally by ± ciliate membrane, distally by short hairs; anthers lanceolate, apex apiculate. Capsules nodding, winged, ellipsoid-globular, 1–2 cm, apex obtuse or acute. Seeds light brown, irregular. 2n = 20.
nw United States.
Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).
|1||Petal gland membranes erose to crenate.||Calochortus elegans var. nanus|
|1||Petal gland membranes deeply fringed.||> 2|
|2||Petal glands broadly transverse-oblong, extending nearly across lower portion of petal, depressed, strongly arched distally; petals densely bearded.||Calochortus elegans var. elegans|
|2||Petal glands shortly transverse-oblong, not depressed, straight or only slightly arched; petals only moderately bearded.||Calochortus elegans var. selwayensis|