[The Fritillaries of the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon and Washington]

Checker Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells

Fritillaria affinis

Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine

Pendant flower of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

The photo above a close-up of the flower of chocolate lily from Catherine Creek in the central Columbia River Gorge of Washington............mid April 2005. Note the greenish tepals with brownish spotting.

Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)The photo at right is of a chocolate lily from the Memaloose area of the central Columbia River Gorge of Oregon............April 15, 2001. Note the leaves at midstem which are arranged in a whorl or semi-whorl. Yellow bells generally has 2 more or less opposite leaves.

Characteristics:

Chocolate lilies are attractive wildflowers with slender to stout stems rising from 15-100 cm. One or two whorls of 3-5 leaves are found scattered along the stem. Individual leaves range from linear to lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate in shape, and each ranges from 3-25 mm wide and 5-15 cm long.

The flowers are occasionally solitary or more commonly number 2 to 5. The flowers are pendent while the broadly winged seed capsule becomes erect. The six tepals are oblong-lanceolate to oblong in shape and range from 20-30 mm long. The anthers are 4-5 mm long with the slender filaments 2-3 times longer. The seed capsules are typically about 2 cm long.


Habitat:

Chocolate lilies may be found on grassy bluffs, on prairies, and in open oak woods and coniferous forests. from near sea level to above 5000'.


Range:

Chocolate lilies may be found from southern British Columbia south along both sides of the Cascade Mts. of Washington to the Columbia River Gorge. In Oregon, it may be found wholly west of the Cascades to southern California. In Washington it is found eastward to northern Idaho.

In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-3000' from Troutdale, OR and Washougal, WA east to near the Dalles, OR.


Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine) - Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

Chocolate lilies as seen atop the Dog Mountain ridgeline west of the summit, Columbia River Gorge..........May 7, 2014.

Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine) - Inflorescence of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

Additional views of of chocolate lilies as seen in oak forest to the west of the upper portion of Catherine Creek.......April 15, 2010.

Inflorescence of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

The photo above shows a multi-flowered chocolate lily as seen along the Angels Rest Trail in the western Columbia River Gorge........late April, 2005.

Flower of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

Photo above a close-up of the flower of chocolate lily from the Memaloose area of the central Columbia River Gorge of Oregon.........April 15, 2001. Note the greenish tepals with brownish spotting.

Winged fruits of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

The developing, winged fruits of chocolate lily as seen at the west edge of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge........May 5, 2010.

Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

A chocolate lily blooming on the dry western slopes of Dog Mountain, central Columbia River Gorge........May 4, 2011.

Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

A chocolate lily in bloom along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge..........April 11, 2013.

Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)

A chocolate lily beginning to bloom near the arch at Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge............April 8, 2014.

Winged fruits of Chocolate Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells: Fritillaria affinis (Synonyms: Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria affinis ssp. affinis, Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. gracilis, Fritillaria lanceolata var. tristulis, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria parviflora, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine)
Winged seed pods of chocolate lily.

Paul Slichter