Calochortus elegans


Fl. Amer. Sept. 1: 240. 1814.

Common names: Cat’s ear
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 125. Mentioned on page 120, 126.

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.


Varieties 3 (3 in the flora).

Selected References



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