Ethnobotany. A food and a medicine for many Amerindian Peoples: the bulbs were eaten raw or roasted.
By the Thompson People as mentioned in “The Ethnobotany of the Thompson Indians of British Columbia” (Steedman, E.V., 1928), in “Thompson Ethnobotany: Knowledge and Usage of Plants by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia, Victoria” (Turner, Nancy J., Laurence C. Thompson and M. Terry Thompson et al., 1990) and in “Ethno-Botany of the Indians in the Interior of British Columbia” (Perry, F., 1952). They were eating the bulbs raw or cooked as well as the sweet flower buds. The Thompson People were also using mashed bulbs placed in cheesecloth as an eye-medicine.
By the Shuswap People as mentioned in “Shuswap Indian Ethnobotany” (Palmer, Gary, 1975) who were feeding their cattle and sheep.
By the Paiute People as mentioned in “Ethnography of the Surprise Valley Paiute” (Kelly, Isabel T., 1932. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology).
By the Okanagon People as mentioned in “Ethno-Botany of the Indians in the Interior of British Columbia” (Perry, F., 1952) and in “The Salishan Tribes of the Western Plateaus” (Teit, James A., 1928).
By the Okanagon-Colville People as mentioned in “Ethnobotany of the Okanagan-Colville Indians of British Columbia and Washington, Victoria” (Turner, Nancy J., R. Bouchard and Dorothy I.D. Kennedy, 1980). They were the bulbs raw or pit cooked with other rootsand using a poultice of mashed bulbs applied to the skin for poison ivy.
By the Klamath People as mentioned in “Notes On The Plants Used By The Klamath Indians Of Oregon” (Coville, Frederick V., 1897).
Description by the California Native Plant Society. Calochortus macrocarpa is a species also known as “Sagebrush Mariposa Lily”. It occurs in northwestern United States and a small part of southern British Columbia. The leaves are blue-green and grass-like. The flowers are large, bloom in June, are three-petaled, and are pink and purple. The bulbs are tapering, like a carrot.
Reference Books. The gem of a book for all Calochortus aficionados is : “Calochortus Mariposa Lilies and their Relatives”. By Mary E. Gerritsen and Ron Parsons. 2007. Timber Press.