Hesperocallis undulata A. Gray
Desert Lily, Ajo Lily
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.
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 description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 12 Oct 2018.
Range: Zones 9-11: