Definition of mariposa lily in US English:

mariposa lily

(also mariposa tulip)


  • A plant of the lily family, with brightly colored cup-shaped flowers, native to Mexico and the western US.

    Genus Calochortus, family Liliaceae: several species

    Closely related to the sego
    • ‘Other wildflowers interspersed among the grasses are tidy tips, red maids, Indian paintbrush, owl's clover, shooting-star, larkspur, golden star, mariposa lily, and johnny-jump-up.’
    • ‘A stand of yellow mariposa lilies explodes below, while white Pieris butterflies flit just out of reach.’
    • ‘Areas once graced by desert mariposa tulip, Rocky Mountain bee plant, prickly poppy and evening primrose were invaded by the hostile horehound.’


Mid 19th century: mariposa from Spanish, literally ‘butterfly’.


mariposa lily