mariposa lily

[mar-uh-poh-suh, -zuh]
noun
any lily of the genus Calochortus, of the western U.S. and Mexico, having tuliplike flowers of various colors.
Also called mariposa, mariposa tulip.


Origin:
1880–85, Americanism; < Spanish mariposa butterfly, moth; so named because blooms were likened to butterflies

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Encyclopedia Britannica
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mariposa lily

(genus Calochortus), tuliplike perennial plants of the lily family (Liliaceae), consisting of about 40 species native to western North America. They have simple or somewhat branched stems, 15 to 130 cm (0.5 foot to 4 feet) tall, rising from corms (bases of modified underground stems) and bearing a few narrow leaves and showy white, yellow, lilac, or bluish flowers, often spotted or marked in the centre. The three large broad petals, 2.5 to 5 cm long, usually bear a conspicuous basal gland.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The green-banded mariposa lily unfurls its lavender petals.
Common names include broad-fruit or big-fruit mariposa lily.
The sagebrush mariposa lily displays deli-cate lavender flowers with intricate colors and markings.
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