Although species of Calochortus have been featured from time to time (most recently, Calochortus leichtlinii), it’s been an omission to have never shared one of the species with nodding and globular flowers, also known as the fairy-lanterns.
Calochortus amabilis has a raft of common names, including Diogenes’ lantern, yellow globe-tulip, golden globe-tulip, yellow globe lily, and golden fairy lantern. Translating the scientific name, amabilis means “lovable” and Calochortus is Greek for “beautiful grass”. Among a genus of oft-graceful plants that he would have known well, Carl Purdy must have been particularly charmed by this one, which he scientifically named and described in 1901. The bulbs, cooked like potatoes, are also a traditional food of the indigenous peoples in this region of northern California. Wikipedia cites the word “bo” as being used by the Pomo, but it isn’t clear to me whether that is the Pomo word for the bulb (cooked or not) or the plant.
A scientific description of Calochortus amabilis is available via the Jepson eFlora, and, as usual for a species from California, many additional photographs are available from CalPhotos: Calochortus amabilis.
Lastly, on behalf of the Garden, I’d like to invite you to a virtual Tea and Talk at 12pm PDT (7pm GMT) on Sunday, April 26: The Garden of Secrets (link to Zoom registration page). I had mentioned this documentary in a recent entry as well, but with this Tea and Talk, you’ll be able to both watch the documentary and then listen to a moderated conversation with UBC Botanical Garden’s Douglas Justice and Patrick Lewis, as well as Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University:
The event will entail a screening of the film followed by a moderated conversation with leading experts in botany and design, speaking to the importance of our relationship with nature and the significance it lends to our mental and physical well-being. The discussion will also explore how we may recalibrate ourselves within our own ecosystem by learning from the world’s oldest innovators (plants!), thus contributing to the betterment of humanity and a greener future.