Checker Lily (Fritillaria affinis) SE

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Plant Description: checker lily (or sometimes called chocolate lily) begin rising from the soil near the end of winter.  The leaves on flower producing individuals are linear and slender in slight whorls climbing the flower stalk.  These leaves differ greatly from the large basal leaves of the plants that aren’t mature enough to produce flowers. The mottled maroon/yellow tepals nod elegantly, until after pollination when the fruit begins to form, straightening out the flower stalk.

Fritillaria affinis is also sometimes called, “rice root fritillary”, referring to it’s nature to reproduce vegetatively through bulbs and many bulblets, which look similar to fat grains of rice.

  • Height: 2ft 
  • Watering needs: dry
  • Sun needs: full sun to part shade 
  • Soil needs: prefers dryer soil
  • Bloom Time: between April and May
  • Portland Plant List (Backyard Habitat Certification): Yes

Landscape Use and Ecological Function: This native plant is found growing below 5900 ft (1800 m) in dry forests, or open meadows in the Pacific Coast States, north into Canada. Can survive in a xeric garden.

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