any lily of the genus Calochortus, of the western U.S. and Mexico, having tuliplike flowers of various colors.
Origin of mariposa lily
1880–85, Americanism; < Spanish mariposa butterfly, moth; so named because blooms were likened to butterflies
Also called mar·i·po·sa, mariposa tulip.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019