Stems usually branching distal to base, 1-3 dm, not glaucous. Leaves: basal persistent, 1-4 dm; blade green, lanceolate, tapering at base, flat, not glaucous. Inflorescences 1-5-flowered. Flowers nodding; perianth closed at apex, ± globular; sepals spreading, yellow-green, ovate to lanceolate, 2-3 cm, glabrous, apex acuminate; petals pale yellow, lanceolate, 3-5 cm, conspicuously fringed with short, thick hairs, adaxial surface glabrous or sparsely hairy, apex obtuse; glands deeply depressed, bordered distally by long, slender hairs; filaments 6-8 mm; anthers oblong, 3-5 mm, apex obtuse or acute. Capsules nodding, winged, ellipsoid-oblong, 2-4 cm. Seeds dark brown, irregular. 2n = 20. Flowering late spring--early summer. Open places in woods, chaparral, typically on serpentine; of conservation concern; 200--800 m; Calif. Calochortus pulchellus is known from Mt. Diablo, Contra Costa County.