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Lilies: Calochortus Albus

Botanical name: Calochortus Albus

Common name: Lily, White Globe or Fairy Lantern

also known as (Mariposa Tulips, Butterfly Tulips)

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created by:
chief cultivator

Mercer island, Wa

at a glance

Soil: damp, acidic, sand
Zones: 8a thru 10b


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description for "Lilies: Calochortus Albus"

Fairy Lantern produces globe-shaped pendulous 1 1/2 inch flowers borne 4 to 8 a stem. Outer petals are white with a slight purplish cast at the base, inner petals white fringed and hairy. Fairy Lantern is native to the coastal ranges of California. From the Greek "kalos" meaning beautiful and "chortus" meaning grass, an apt description for these lovely bulbous plants, most of which are native to the western United States. The common names illustrate the great diversity in the genus, among them being descriptive titles such as Fairy Lanterns, Cat's Ears, Mariposa tulips and Butterfly tulips. Although they have a reputation for being difficult to grow under cultivation, it has been pointed out that they will perform well if they are given the same conditions in cultivation as in the wild. Also, after flowering the bulbs divide and often miss one or two seasons before flowering again, another reason why they may be considered difficult. Although they can withstand considerable cold, they do not like freezing and thawing. Therefore, outside their native habitat they are best grown in pots. If you like a challenge we encourage you to try them. Their beauty makes them well worth the extra effort.

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