Native Region: Western North America
Zone Range: 5-9
Preferred Climate: Semi sun to shady sites; well draining humus rich soil.
Harvest Date: Monday 26 November, 2007
Seed count: 12-15
A stunning early spring blooming species with nodding globe like flowers. Blooms range in colour from ivory (with or without carmine marking) to carmine. Each arching stem can carry up to 10 of these incredibly lovely flowers. Co-evolved with our wet winters and dry summers, so becomes naturally dormant in summer to survive the drought, so provide such conditions in order for the plant to thrive (similarly to our native Fritillaria).
Naturally small bulbs. Bulbils form at or just under soil surface. There are three categories of Calochortus (fairy lantern, cat's ears, and mariposa). This particular Fairy lantern, to me, looks more like a solid coloured fritillary than anything remotely like a tulip.
Soak seed 24 hours and cold stratify at 2-4 C in a equal mix of damp peat and coarse sand for 2 months. This species does not tolerate overly moist medium. Check seed often as it does tend to germinate during the stratification process (prick out, transplant and provide indirect light). Sow 3 mm deep; germinate at cool temps (10-15 C) temps greater than 20 C can be lethal. Never provide hot sun as young plants will enter dormancy early and will never gather enough energy via photosynthesis to resprout in the following spring. Sometimes seed takes two years to germinate....this is nature's way.