mariposa lily


mar·​i·​po·​sa lily ˌmer-ə-ˈpō-zə- How to pronounce mariposa lily (audio)
: any of a genus (Calochortus) of western North American plants of the lily family with showy flowers having three petals and three sepals

called also mariposa tulip

compare sego lily

Examples of mariposa lily in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Look for native mariposa lilies such as pink blooming Calochortus splendens, bright yellow with gold speckled Calochortus weedii, and white blooming Calochortus dunnii. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Mar. 2024 Among the typical spring flowers are orange or purple mariposa lilies, desert five spots (with their five red spots), bright yellow desert golds and desert dandelions, and purple sage. Joe Yogerst, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 Naturalist Ann Sarg suggests visiting the park to catch blooms in May, when natives like Nelson’s larkspur, nuttall violet, sand lilies, and mariposa lily bloom along paths like the Willow Creek trail. Sunset, 22 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mariposa lily.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


probably from American Spanish mariposa, from Spanish, butterfly

First Known Use

1882, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mariposa lily was in 1882

Dictionary Entries Near mariposa lily

Cite this Entry

“Mariposa lily.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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