This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Branched or simple herbs, with coated corms, narrowly linear leaves and large showy peduncled flowers, erect in the following species. Perianth-segments separate, spreading or connivent, yellow, blue, purple, white or variegated; the 3 outer sepal-like, narrow; the 3 inner petaloid, gland-bearing, and barbed or spotted within, sometimes with a nectar-pit near the base. Stamens 6, hypogynous; filaments short, subulate; anthers erect, linear or oblong. Ovary 3-celled; ovules numerous; style very short or none; stigmas 3, recurved. Capsule oblong or linear, 3-angled, mostly septicidal, the valves sometimes 2-cleft. Seeds flat. [Greek, signifying beautiful herb.]
About 35 species, of western North America and Mexico. Type species: C. elegans Pursh.
Anthers obtuse; gland of inner perianth-segments orbicular or oval.
Anthers acute; gland transverse, cursed or reniform.
Fritillaria alba Nutt. Gen. 1: 222. 1818? Calochortus Nuttallii T. & G. Pac. R. R. Rep. 2: 124. 1855.
Corm ovoid-oblong, 6"-10" high. Stem slender, few-leaved, branched or sometimes simple, 3'-I5' tall; leaves 1-3' long, 1"-21/2" wide, the lowest commonly bearing a bulb in its axil; peduncles 2'-6' long; outer perianth-segments lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, green with lighter margins, acute or acuminate, shorter than the inner, sometimes with a dark or hairy spot within; inner perianth-segments broadly obovate-cuneate, 1'-1 1/2' long, 10"-12" wide, white, lilac or yellowish, with a yellow base and a purple or purplish spot, the gland orbicular or oval and more or less pubescent; filaments 3"-4" long, about equalling the oblong obtuse sagittate anthers; capsule about 1 1/2' long, 3"-4" thick, acuminate, the valves obliquely cross-lined.
South Dakota to Nebraska and California. June-July.
Calochortus Gunnisoni S. Wats. Bot. King's Exp. 348. 1871.
Stem slender, often simple, 6-15' high. Leaves usually less than 1" wide, involute, at least when dry, none of the axils bulb-bearing in any specimen seen; peduncles 1'-4' long; outer perianth-segments lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, scarious-margined, acuminate; inner perianth-segments similar to those of the preceding species, lilac, yellowish below the middle, purple-lined and banded, the gland transverse, oblong, curved or reni-form, pubescent; anthers acute; capsule narrowly oblong, narrowed at both ends, about 1 1/4' long.
South Dakota and Nebraska to Arizona and New Mexico. June-July.