[The Fritillaries of the Columbia River
Gorge of Oregon and Washington]
Checker Lily, Chocolate Lily, Mission Bells
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.
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.
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
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.
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'.
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 lilies as seen atop the Dog Mountain ridgeline west of the summit, Columbia River Gorge..........May 7, 2014.
Additional views of of chocolate lilies as seen in oak forest to the west of the upper portion of Catherine Creek.......April 15, 2010.
The photo above shows a multi-flowered chocolate
lily as seen along the Angels Rest Trail in the western Columbia River Gorge........late
A close-up of the flowers of chocolate lily from the
Lyle-Cherry Orchard Trail, one-half mile east of Lyle, WA.........April
The developing, winged fruits of chocolate lily as seen at the west edge of Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge........May 5, 2010.
A chocolate lily blooming on the dry western slopes of Dog Mountain, central Columbia River Gorge........May 4, 2011.
A chocolate lily in bloom along the Eagle Creek Trail, Columbia River Gorge..........April 11, 2013.
A chocolate lily beginning to bloom near the arch at Catherine Creek, Columbia River Gorge............April 8, 2014.
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 seed pods of chocolate lily.