Liliaceae Zigadenus vaginatus

white flower with yellow marks on inner petals.

Zigadenus vaginatus

Synonym: Anticlea vaginata

Family: Liliaceae – Lily Family

Perennial poisonous herbs; from bulbs; 1' to 3.3' tall (3 to10 decimeters); grows in hanging gardens

Leaves: mainly basal, some alternate; simple; parallel veined; narrow and grasslike, linear; reduced leaves going upwards; leaves slightly toothed; 8” to 2.5' (20 to 75 cm) long, 0.24” to 0.72” (6 to 18 mm) wide; monocot

Flowers: usually 3 white petals; 3 white sepals, commonly petaloid; stamens 6, or rarely 3; 1 pistil; radially symmetrical; flowers 0.6” to 17.2” (15 to 43 cm) long and 0.33” to 0.75” (8.3 to 18.8 mm) wide; flowers perfect and in panicles

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees)

Fruits: 3 chambered capsule

Blooms in Arches National Park: July, August, September and possibly to the end of October in lower elevations

Habitat in Arches National Park: hanging gardens and seeps

Location seen: hanging garden and seep communities

Other: The genus name, "Zigadenus", is derived from the Greek words “zugon” which means “yoke” and “aden” which means “gland or paired glands” describing the flowers. The species name, “vaginatus” means “sheath” which describes the leaves.

Zigadenus vaginatus is endemic to Grand, Kane, San Juan and Washington Counties in Utah. This plant is a C3 federal species of concern. C3 are taxa that are no longer being considered for listing as threatened or endangered species by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Although this C3 candidate is no longer officially considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the former candidate status is important historical information.

Yucca and aloe used to be in this family. The family is extremely complex. Some ornamentals and medicinally useful plants are in this family, but a few species, such as this one, are poisonous.

Last updated: February 4, 2023

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