It’s time again for my annual “Countdown to Spring” series, whereby I spotlight a beautiful Colorado wildflower each day until we reach the Vernal Equinox on March 20.

Let’s start the series with the Sego Lily (Calochortus nuttallii), aka the Mariposa Lily. This generally white, three-petaled flower is an early bloomer in the foothills and the Ponderosa zone of Colorado’s woodlands.

The bulbs of the Sego Lily are edible and were roasted, boiled, or made into a porridge by several Western Native American tribes. Tribes in Utah taught starving Mormon settlers how to use this plant as food, which is how the Sego Lily ended up as the state flower of Utah.

The Sego Lily can also be found in a lovely shade of lilac.

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