Yellow Mariposa (Calochortus luteus)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Yellow Mariposa
Calochortus luteus
Calochortaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    None known

  • Edible Use

    Bulb – raw or cooked[92, 105, 161]. About the size of a walnut, it is very palatable and nutritious[2]. The bulb can be harvested in early spring, peeled and eaten raw[257]. It can also be baked and eaten like potatoes[257]. The bulb can be used as a staple food[2].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow as soon as ripe or early spring in a cold frame in a very sharply draining medium. Stratification may be helpful. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 6 months at 15¡c[138]. Leave the seedlings undisturbed for their first two years growth[138], but give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. It is quite difficult to get the seedlings through their first period of dormancy since it is all too easy either to dry them out completely or keep them too moist when they will rot[214]. After their second year of growth, pot up the dormant bulbs in late summer and grow them on for at least another 2 years in the greenhouse before trying them outside. Seedlings take about 5 – 7 years to come into flower[214]. Division of the bulbs as soon as the foliage dies down. One report says that the bulbs must be planted into their permanent positions immediately[1], whilst another says that they can be stored overwinter and replanted in the spring[138]. Stem bulbils, harvested from the stems after flowering[200]. They can be stored cool and dry then planted in pots in the cold frame in the spring.
Requires a deep very well-drained fertile sandy soil in a warm sunny position and must be kept rather dry after it flowers and over winter[1, 90, 200]. This is a rather difficult plant to cultivate in Britain, it is very cold hardy but is intolerant of wetness especially in the winter[42, 90]. It is easiest to grow in a bulb frame but is worth trying outdoors at the base of a south-facing wall, especially with shrubs that like these conditions[120]. Bulbs have succeeded in a cold frame with the cover removed from March to October[214]. Bulbs can be lifted as soon as the foliage dies down in the summer and stored overwinter in a cool dry place, replanting in spring[138]. Another report says that the bulbs must be replanted as soon as they have been divided[1]. Bulbs frequently divide after flowering, the bulblets taking 2 years to reach flowering size[200]. Hand pollination is necessary if seed is required[1]. This species is closely allied to C. venustus[90].
South-western N. America – California

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.