C. luteus thrives in sandy or loamy soils which are well drained, and is highly adaptable to variable pH ranges spanning alkali to acidic regimes. This species is drought tolerant, but does not thrive in deeply shaded conditions. Yellow Mariposa Lily (also known by the common name Gold Nuggets) may be found at elevations under 600 meters in coastal prairie, grassland, oak savanna, mixed oak woodland and mixed-evergreen forest. C luteus thrives in many of the same sun drenched rocky habitats as C. venustus. Typical dominant oaks in the overstory of forest clearings and savanna include Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii. (Hogan).
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