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mariposa lily

[mar-uh-poh-suh, -zuh] /ˌmær əˈpoʊ sə, -zə/
noun
1.
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
1880-1885
1880-85, Americanism; < Spanish mariposa butterfly, moth; so named because blooms were likened to butterflies
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mariposa

mariposa

/ˌmærɪˈpəʊzə; -sə/
noun
1.
any of several liliaceous plants of the genus Calochortus, of the southwestern US and Mexico, having brightly coloured tulip-like flowers Also called mariposa lily, mariposa tulip
Word Origin
C19: from Spanish: butterfly; from the likeness of the blooms to butterflies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for mariposa

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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