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Fritillaria affinis var. affinis (Checker lily)
Miller, Holmes O.

Fritillaria affinis var. affinis

Fritillaria affinis (Schult.) Sealy var. affinis

Checker Lily, Rice-grain Missionbells, Mission Bells, Chocolate Lily

Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Synonym(s): Fritillaria camschatcensis var. floribunda, Fritillaria eximia, Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria mutica, Fritillaria mutica var. gracilis

USDA Symbol: frafa2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Rice-grain missionbells or checker lily is one of the most variable of the Fritillaria genus. The leafy flowering stalk reaches up to 4 ft. and carries one to twelve, pendent, cup-like flowers at its apex. The flowers are checkered with brown and green, sometimes with purple and yellow inside. Some are more green, others (near the coast) are nearly black-purple.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 4 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green , Purple , Brown
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul


USA: CA , ID , OR , WA
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: S. B.C., s., on both sides of the Cascades in WA & on the w. side in OR, to s. CA; also n. ID
Native Habitat: Prairies and grassy bluffs; woodlands; conifer forests

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: This species takes occasional summer water. Often finicky in the garden, the bulbs are eaten by gophers, and the foliage is devoured by snails and slugs. Also, plants often take a year or two "off" from flowering, making only a single, broad, tongue-shaped basal leaf during those times. To assure good flowering, one needs a colony of several bulbs.


Use Wildlife: Other Showy Insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes


Description: Many fritillaries have rice grain bulblets around the base from which new plantlets can be started. Propagation by seed is possible. Sow seeds in pots in the fall, plunge the pots in protected soil and hold the plants until the dormant periods of the se
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Fritillaria affinis var. affinis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Fritillaria affinis var. affinis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Fritillaria affinis var. affinis


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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