Plants often bulbose; bulb coat membranous. Stems usually branching, straight. Leaves: basal withering; blade linear-attenuate. Inflorescences subumbellate, 1-4-flowered. Flowers erect; perianth pinkish or bluish gray, infrequently with longitudinal gray stripe, open, campanulate; sepals invested near gland, with yellowish, distally enlarged or branching, gland-tipped hairs, base sometimes marked with dull purple, apex acuminate; petals with median blotch usually surrounded by yellow zone, ± equaling sepals, base sometimes marked with dull purple; glands round to lunate, depressed, surrounded with narrow, deeply fringed membrane, densely covered with short, distally branching hairs; filaments shorter than anthers; anthers oblong-lanceolate, apex obtuse to acute. Capsules erect, linear-oblong, 3-angled, apex acute. Seeds flat. 2n = 18.
Flowering late spring--summer. Dry soils; 1100--2700 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Utah.
FNA 2002, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Wiggins 1964
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Often bulbose perennial, stems usually branching and straight, 10-30 cm, producing bulblets in axils of lower leaves. Leaves: Few, alternate, linear attenuate blades, becoming rolled in age, 1-3 mm wide, lower 10-15 cm long, basal leaves withering. Flowers: Terminal subumbellate, 1-4 flowered, with pinkish or bluish gray perianth, rarely with a longitudinal gray stripe, open, campanulate; flowers subtended by 2-3 leafy bracts, 3 lanceolate sepals near glad, with yellowish, distally enlarged or branching gland-tipped hairs, base sometimes dull purple, apex acuminate; petals 3, 30-45 mm long, with median blotch surrounded by yellow zone, base sometimes marked with purple, gland semicircular and horizontally elongate; anthers with blunt or broadly pointed tips. Fruits: Erect capsule, linear oblong, 3-angled, with an acute apex. Ecology: Found in dry soils from 3500-9000 ft (1067-2743 m); flowers April-August. Notes: Can be told apart from other species the genera by the elongate gland surrounded by hairs, the blunt or broadly pointed anthers, and by the bulblets that sometimes appear on the lower stem. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genera were used for food. Etymology: Calochortus is Greek, meaning beautiful herb, while ambiguus means doubtful or of uncertain identity. Synonyms: Calochortus watsonii var. ambiguus Editor: SBuckley, 2010