Synonyms: Lilium pudicum, Ochrocodon pudicus
Yellow bells are a delightful wildflower consisting of a single stem arising from a small bulb consisting of several fleshy scales and several to many rice-grainlike offset bulblets. The stems may be as much as 35 cm tall. The leaves are either two and subopposite or three and alternate to somewhat whorled. Some plants may have as many as 8 leaves, wth the upper ones reduced in size upwards. The leaves are long, linear or linear-oblanceolate. They are green and may be up to 16 cm long and 3 to 12 mm wide.
A solitary flower (occasionally two may be found), is found atop the stem, which turns down so that the flower hangs down in bloom, and the seed capsule then turns upwards as it readies itself. Six yellow tepals may be found, often with purplish or brownish streaks near the base of each tepal. As they age, the tepals turn red or purple. Individual tepals are oblong-lanceolate to oblanceolate in shape and 12-26 mm long and from 4-10 mm wide with rounded tips. The seed capsule (seen at right) is short and oblong in outline, measuring from 15-20 mm long.
Yellow bells make delightful perennial wildflowers for the front of a rock garden or dry, east-side prairie garden. Plants may occasionally be seen for sale by wildflower nurseries. Wild plants should not be collected as they have only a small chance of survival.
Yellow Bells may be found in grasslands, scattered among sagebrush, or on the needled ground beneath Ponderosa Pines or in mixed coniferous forests. They are one of the first wildflowers to bloom in the spring.
The range of Yellow Bells is from British Columbia southward through Oregon and Washington (east of the Cascade crest) to northern California. It is found eastward to Alberta, and southward through Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada.
The photos above shows yellow bells as seen near the summit of Selah Butte, several miles northeast of Selah Washington...................March 28, 2007.
This photo shows a close-up of yellow bells as seen on moist soils (where the snow has just melted) at Buckhorn Lookout on the western edge of the Imnaha Canyon in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest..................June 27, 2008.