Fritillaria affinis (Schult.) Sealy var. affinis (F. lanceolata Pursh)
Perennial glabrous herb to 80 cm tall, from a scaly bulb with numerous rice-like bulblets. Leaves in 1-2 whorls of 3-5, sometimes alternate, lance-shaped, 5-15 cm long. Flowers dark purple mottled with greenish-yellow, bell-shaped, to 4 cm long, nodding; single or in clusters of two to five, terminal. Fruits upright six-angled capsules, with wings on the angles. Many flat seeds (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994). Photo by Lyndia Terre.
checker lily, rice-root
Prairies and grassy bluffs to woodlands and coniferous forests, from near sea level to nearly sub-alpine. Along the coast and inland along the major river valleys (Pojar and MacKinnon, 1994).
Well drained Moder and Mull humus forms (Klinka et al., 1989).
Nitrogen rich soils (Klinka et al., 1989).
soil reaction salinity
Slightly acid soils.
Dry to mesic, water-shedding and water-receiving sites (Klinka et al., 1989).
Shade intolerant (Klinka et al., 1989)
Climax species in meadow-like communities.
bec zone subzone status
Component of Garry oak-camas-white fawn lily meadows.
Bulbs were steamed in pits and eaten. Said to be tender and delicate, resembling rice but slightly bitter (Pojar and MacKinnon 1994).
fruit ripening time
seed collection time
collection and abstraction
Pick seed when capsule is no longer green and begins to split along the seams. Pick into a collection bag, allow drying, and then shaking to release the seed (King, 2001).
Store seeds dry in sealed containers at 5º C. Viability under storage is unknown.
fruit seed dormancy treatment
Sow seeds in fall in outdoor nursery flats to allow seeds to break dormancy naturally, or sow stored seeds in spring after three-month cold stratification. Flats may show no germination for up to six months. Protect seedlings from bright sun during mid-summer. Hold seed flats in a shady spot until the fall of the second year before transplanting. Plants may take four to six years to produce flowers (Pettinger and Costanzo, 2002).
In late summer to early fall (when the plant is dormant), chocolate lily can be propagated from bulb scales or bulb off-sets removed from the mother plant after die-back (King, 2001).
additional info and photos
For more information and pictures, visit the E-Flora BC website at www.eflora.bc.ca.