The state flower of Utah. The bulbs of this were used as a food source by the Mormon pioneers. The Sego Lily grows 1-4 flowers, each with 3 white petals,and 3 sepals. Calochortus includes Mariposas (or Mariposa lilies) with open wedge-shaped petals, Globe lilies and Fairy lanterns with globe-shaped flowers, and Cat's ears and Star tulips with erect pointed petals. The word Calochortus is derived from Greek and means "beautiful grass".
The three-sectioned sego lily seed pods taste similar, either raw or cooked, to young peas. ==========================
George Earlie Shankle, written from Salt Lake City, dated April 17, 1930 says in part that, "between 1840 and 1851, food became very scarce in Utah due to a crop-devouring plague of crickets, and that the families were put on rations, and during this time they learned to dig for and to eat the soft, bulbous root of the sego lily. The memory of this use, quite as much as the natural beauty of the flower, caused it to be selected in after years by the Legislature as the floral emblem of the state." ========================== VIDEO: Cats Ear or Lyall's Mariposa - Calochortus lyallii A member of the Lily family, the North American endemic genus- Calochortus- is one of the most beautiful. The common names for this genus are mariposa lily and cats ear for the species with fringes of hairs on the tepals. This species of Calochortus is Lyall's mariposa or cats ear, and is found exclusively in Central Washington.