GUNNISON'S MARIPOSA LILY
family: Lily (Liliaceae)
hexaenó'káne, "lone onion" (see Hooper 1975: 131)
Gunnison’s mariposa lily is erect perennial plant, 15 to 20 cm tall, with slender, mostly separate, stems bearing several leaflets and flowers. A single stem bears 1 to 3 flowers. Leaflets are linear, crooked, 10 to 30 cm long, 2 to 8 mm wide. They narrow to the point and don’t overreach the flower. Upper bracts are linear, 3 to 15 cm long. Flower is bell-like, white to purple or yellow, frequently with narrow crosswise purple line and purple center. It has 2 to 3 sepals, 35 mm long, shorter than petals. The petals are 3 to 4 cm long, glandular-hirsute. It blossoms from June to August. It tolerates both dry and moist conditions. It grows in steep land chiefly. It ranges in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico; isolated population in the Black Hills.
Cheyennes ate bulbs.They boiled them fresh or dried for winter use. Dried bulbs can be pounded easily and a sweet mush can be prepared from them. If the bulbs are boiled fresh, they are very fine and fall into pieces. Cheyennes ate vernal flower buds too. Dried and cut bulbs were a part of some medicine mixtures. Cheyennes put a piece of Gunnison’s mariposa lily root into a horse’s mouth before horse race. They called the beautiful white flowers with red center mámaa'etane or „man in warbonnet“ (Grinnell 1923 II: 172; Hart 1981: 12).