Corm ovoid, 1-2 cm; coat brown or reddish brown, minutely striate, splitting from base into narrow strips that shred and appear fibrous. Leaves persistent, 2-7 (-10), 1 mm wide, 1/2 as long as to equaling scape; blade channeled. Scape 4-55 cm, scabrous on proximal veins. Inflorescences 1-9-flowered, if solitary, one or more undeveloped flower buds often present; bracts 4 in 2 whorls, 5-12 mm, apex acute. Flowers 4.5-18 cm (appearing 2.5-4 cm due to pseudopedicel); perianth tube with lacuna between stipe angles to within 0.5-5 cm of base, then tube and stipe completely fused into pseudopedicel; perianth lobes spreading, white with green abaxial stripe, 3-5-veined, elliptic, becoming papery and persisting in fruit, eventually split by developing capsule, 1.5-2.5 cm; outer lobes 5-10 mm wide, apex subacute, inner lobes 8-12 mm wide, apex rounded; filaments triangular, 1 mm; anthers yellow, lanceolate, sagittate at base, 3-5 mm, suture margins minutely denticulate, ± crisped; ovary proximally adnate to perianth tube, ovoid to obovoid, 1 cm, stipe 3-16 cm; style exserted; stigma capitate, minutely 3-lobed. Capsules ovoid, 1.5-2 cm; beak 1.5-2.5 mm.
Flowering mid Aug--Sep. Most volcanic soils, dry hillsides, ridges; 1000--2700 m; Ariz., N.Mex.; Mexico; Central America (Guatemala).
Persistent reports of the occurrence of Milla biflora in trans-Pecos Texas are due to a collection made by Charles Wright 'On the San Pedro, West Texas' in 1851-1852. Wright was not in west Texas during the blooming period of M. biflora in either year. This collection most likely came from along the San Pedro River below Benson, Cochise County, Arizona.
FNA 2003, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous perennials to 55 cm tall, with prominent green veins appearing as striations along the stem, extending to the receptacle and undersides of the petals, with a large bulb or corm made up of concentric layers and splitting from the base into narrow strips that shred and appear fibrous. Leaves: All basal, narrow, grass-like, channeled, blue-green in color, few in number from 2-10, blades to 1 mm wide and half as long to equaling the scape in length. Flowers: White, large (up to 6 cm in diameter), salverform with 6 distinct elliptic lobes, these white with a green midvein beneath, to 2 cm long, becoming papery and persisting in fruit, filaments triangular, to 1 mm long, style exserted, stigmas capitate and minutely 3-lobed, inflorescences borne solitary or in umbel-like clusters of 1-9. Flowers strongly and pleasantly scented. Fruits: Obovoid, sessile capsule 1.5-2 cm long with a 1.5-2.5 mm beak. Ecology: Found on volcanic soils on dry hillsides, ridges, in open woods and among oaks or pines, from 4,000-9,000 ft (1219-2743 m); flowering August-September. Distribution: Arizona, New Mexico; Mexico. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: The meaning of Milla is unknown, while biflora means two-flowered. Synonyms: Askolame biflora Editor: LCrumbacher 2011