Chocolate lily as seen growing near the trailhead for the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Malheur National Forest.......June 21, 2011.
Also known as purple fritillaria, chocolate lilies are attractive perennial wildflowers. The single, slender stem arises 10-60 cm high from a narrow bulb containing a few large fleshy scales and bulblets. The 8-12 leaves are narrowly linear and are scattered along the stem or in loose whorls. Individual leaves are 4-12 cm long and 2-7 mm wide.
The 1-4 flowers are bell-shaped, but widely so, and found on somewhat recurved pedicels. The flowers are a dark brownish-purple with a mottling of greenish yellow. The 6 tepals are rhombic-lanceolate in shape and range from 1.5-2 cm long. The anthers are 3-4 mm long with thin filaments which are 6-12 mm long. The capsule is acutely angled and ranges from 10-15 mm long.
Chocolate lilies are found growing on grassy slopes and on the open floor of coniferous forests and on rocky montane slopes up to elevations of 7000-8000 ft.
Chocolate lilies may be found from central Oregon east through central and southern Idaho to Nebraska and North and South Dakota and south through Colorado to New Mexico. In the west, it is found south to Sierran California.
- -Chocolate lily as seen (left and center) along the Canyon Mountain Trail #218, Strawberry Mountain Wilderness.........May 29, 2014. The photo at right shows chocolate lily as seen along the Round Mountain South Trail #805 about a mile north of the south trailhead atFS Road # 42, Ochoco National Forest.........May 28, 2016.
- -Chocolate lily as seen under conifers near the trailhead for the Steins Pillar Trail #837, Ochoco National Forest.........May 21, 2017.
-Hundreds of mission bells were in bloom on the ridge between Drake Peak Lookout and Light Peak, Fremont-Winema National Forest.....June 29, 2019.
-Chocolate lily as seen along the Line Butte Trail #807 on the south side of Lookout Mountain, Ochoco National Forest........June 22, 2017.
-Chocolate lilies in bloom on sandy substrates beneath junipers along the Ancient Juniper Trail, Badlands Wilderness.......May 12, 2018.
-Mission bells in bloom along the Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 at about 7300' on the northeastern shoulder of McDowell Peak, Fremont-Winema National Forest.......June 28, 2019.
-Mission bells with green fruits observed along the Fremont National Recreation Trail #160 on the east side of Crook Peak, Fremont-Winema National Forest......July 17, 2022.
Chocolate lily as seen atop Aldrich Mt., Malheur N.F., near Dayville, OR...........June 21, 2003.