Stems not branching, less than 1 dm. Leaves: basal persistent, 1–2 dm; blade linear, flat; cauline usually absent. Inflorescences 1–10-flowered. Flowers ± erect; perianth open, campanulate; sepals lanceolate, 8–10 mm, glabrous, apex acuminate; petals white, obovate, 10–14 mm, not ciliate, adaxial surface glabrous or sometimes with few hairs near gland; glands bordered proximally by ± ciliate membrane; filaments equaling anthers; anthers linear-oblong, apex acute. Capsules nodding, 3-winged, ellipsoid, 1–2 cm. Seeds irregular. 2n = 20.
Phenology: Flowering late spring–mid summer.
Habitat: Moist grassy areas in open woods, along lake margins
Elevation: 1200–3000 m
Derivatives of hybridization between Calochortus minimus and C. nudus (pink- to lavender-tinged petals with rounded tips) occur in the northern high Sierra Nevada (B. D. Ness et al. 1990).