Dotted here and there amongst the sagebrush along the south side of Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area is this beauty: Calochortus macrocarpus, or sagebrush mariposa lily. In the book Plants of Southern Interior British Columbia, the authors point out that “mariposa” means butterfly in Spanish. You can likely see the resemblance.
Unfortunately, the authors also point out that Calochortus macrocarpus is a tasty plant for cattle, one of the reasons it is now quite uncommon. To whit:
Sagebrush mariposa lily is highly palatable to livestock and it will disappear from highly grazed areas. This species was once widespread, but it is now considerably less common and harvesting the flowers or bulbs is discouraged because it destroys the entire plant.
Miller, Allen and Antos, in the Canadian Journal of Botany 82(12): 1790-1799 (2004) (in 2017, now the journal Botany), observed that individual plants of Calochortus macrocarpus can remain dormant (i.e., not emerging above ground during a a growing season) for a period of one to four years (source / abstract: Dormancy and flowering in two mariposa lilies (Calochortus) with contrasting distribution patterns.). This seems to be a strategy by the plant to avoid unfavourable environmental conditions in a particular year, allowing it to instead grow within an environmental regime that is more favourable to eventual reproduction.