Distribution: Widely distributed throughout Washington, but more common east of the Cascades crest; British Columbia south to California, east to Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.
Habitat: Coastal bluffs, prairies, open rocky areas, oak and ponderosa pine woodlands, sagebrush and juniper desert, where moist in early spring.
Conservation Status: Not of concern
Showy grass-like perennial with clumped stems to 30 cm tall; stems flattened.
Narrow (to 3 mm wide), flattened, sheathing at base, lower leaves bract-like.
Showy, 1-few in an umbel subtended by two erect spathe-like leaves; tepals 6, to 2 cm long, reddish-purple to pink (rarely white) with a satiny sheen; stamens 3, filaments fused and slightly enlarged at base; styles 3; ovary wholly inferior. Flowering March to June.
3-celled capsules to 1 cm long.
This species is distinguished by its reddish-purple or pink flowers and filaments connate only on the lower 1/3-1/2 of their length (vs. yellow or blue flowers and filaments connate nearly to their tip in our other species).
One of our earliest blooming springtime wildflowers, and sure to catch your eye with its large cheerful blooms.