Leucocrinum

Leucocrinum is a monotypic genus in the Agavaceae family.


Leucocrinum montanum, or sand lily, is a perennial that grows from a deep caudex in dryish sandy soil. Six to fifteen leaves, 4-8" long, basal, grow surrounded by papery bracts. The scented flowers are white with six tepals, growing about 1.5-2" wide and 2-3" tall on long tubes. There is some variation of tepal width and length, as seen in the photos below. The pedicels and ovaries remain underground, similar to Crocus. This plant is locally common in southeastern Oregon, the northeastern corner of California, and east to Nebraska and Utah.

One unique characteristic of this species is that the seeds remain underground in their pods. It is believed that ants distribute the seeds thereafter.

Photo by David Wagner, taken a few miles SW of Alturas, Modoc County, California.

Leucocrinum montanum, David Wagner

Photos below of a form with thin tepals by Mark Turner, taken in Canyon City, Oregon, on May 3rd, 2004.

Leucocrinum montanum, Grant Co. Izee-Paulina Ln. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Grant Co. Izee-Paulina Ln. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Grant Co. Izee-Paulina Ln. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Grant Co. Izee-Paulina Ln. Oregon, Mark Turner

More photos by Mark Turner of forms with wide tepals, taken in Bend, Oregon, on May 4th, 2004.

Leucocrinum montanum, Deschutes Co. Innes Mkt Rd. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Deschutes Co. Innes Mkt Rd. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Deschutes Co. Innes Mkt Rd. Oregon, Mark TurnerLeucocrinum montanum, Deschutes Co. Innes Mkt Rd. Oregon, Mark Turner

These photos are by Mary Winter, taken April 30th, 2013, in Elko County,Nevada.

Leucocrinum montanum, Mary WinterLeucocrinum montanum, Mary Winter

Page last modified on June 28, 2015, at 06:56 PM