General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Dry Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 7b
Plant Height: 6 to 18 inches
Plant Spread: typically nil; up to 5 inches in bloom
Leaves: Other: few 2 to 4 inch long grass-like leaves which often wither before flowering
Fruit: Other: erect 3-angled capsule
Flowers: Showy
Other: plants have 1 to 4 flowers (usually only one), up to 2 inches across, each with 3 white petals, 3 sepals, 6 stamens
Flower Color: White
Other: 3 white petals, yellow at base, with (usually) crescent shaped reddish brown or purple band or blotch; 3 lanceolate sepals marked similar to petals
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Bulb
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Edible Parts: Roots
Eating Methods: Raw
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Other info: seedlings take about 5 - 7 years to come into flower; prefers dry, loamy to sandy well-drained soil
Propagation: Other methods: Bulbs
Other: up to walnut sized, round bulbs with membranous coat; bulbs divide after flowering; bulblets take 2 years to reach flowering size
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil
Goes Dormant
Awards and Recognitions: Other: State Flower of Utah

Common names
  • Sego Lily
  • Nuttall's Mariposa
  • Mariposa Lily
  • Sego-Lily

  • Posted by Johannian (The Black Hills, SD - Zone 5a) on Dec 8, 2021 4:55 PM concerning plant:
    Habitat: Dry soil on plains, among sagebrush, and in open pine forests. Range: Eastern Montana and western North Dakota; south to eastern Idaho and northwestern Nebraska; across Utah and western Colorado to northern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. Other info: Occasionally petals are magenta or tinged with lilac. The Ute Indians called it "sago," and taught Mormon settlers to eat the bulbs in times of scarcity.
  • Posted by Paul2032 ( Utah - Zone 5b) on Jan 12, 2019 5:57 PM concerning plant:
    I've lived in Utah all my life and have only seen the Sego Lily a few times. They only grow in areas that meet their specific needs. I have been a member of a number of garden clubs for years and only know of one couple who were very experienced gardeners and grew them successfully in their garden. One year when food was scarce the Mormon Pioneers used the bulbs as a food source. They must have been more plentiful then.
  • Posted by robertduval14 (Milford, New Hampshire - Zone 5b) on Apr 15, 2013 9:50 PM concerning plant:
    Utah's state flower.

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