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Hesperocallis undulata

Hesperocallis undulata A. Gray

 

Desert Lily, Ajo Lily

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassLiliidaeIncludes lilies, orchids, and many others
OrderAsparagalesA diverse group that includes asparagus
FamilyAsparagaceaeAgaves, asparagus, hyacinths, and others
GenusHesperocallisFrom Greek hesperos (Ἓσπερος), “of or at evening, western, the west,” and kallos (καλὸς), “beauty,” loosely “western beauty,” a name assigned by Asa Gray, who believed it to be related to Hemerocallis
Speciesundulata“With undulations,” for the wavy leaf margins

About plant names...

The Hesperocallis lily family is native to the North American southwest. (Hesperocallis comes from the Greek words hesperos (Ἓσπερος) and kalos (καλὸς), meaning “western beauty.”) Traditionally classified as lilies, these plants are actually more closely related to agaves.

Identification: Plants are 12-71" (30-180 cm) in height. Leaves are long 8-20" (20-50 cm) and narrow ¼-½" (8-15 mm), with undulating serrated edges. White, showy, trumpet-shaped flowers occur in groups of 4 to 18, each 4-12" (10-30 cm) long and about 3" (7.6 cm) in diameter. Each flower has six petals and yellow anthers.

Edibility: Desert lily bulbs, which can be quite large, have a garlic-like flavor, and may be baked or boiled, or eaten raw.

Online References:

Hesperocallis undulata on Oceanlight.com, a natural history stock photography site by Phillip Colla

Hesperocallis undulata at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden Center for Plant Research

Hesperocallis undulata on Tom Chester’s Plant Species of the Borrego Desert

Hesperocallis undulata on Plants for a Future

Hesperocallis undulata at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Sonoran Desert Digital Library

Hesperocallis undulata on CalPhotos

Hesperocallis undulata at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Hesperocallis undulata at the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association

Hesperocallis undulata on eFloras

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 23 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 11 × 7" (27 × 18 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 27 cm)

Hesperocallis undulata (Desert Lily, Ajo Lily)

2/28/2010 · Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, CA
≈ 17 × 12" (44 × 29 cm)

Range: Zones 9-11:

About this map...