Fritillaria affinis is also called Chocolate lily, Checker lily, Rice root and Mission bells. It is in the Lilliaceae family, a family of monocotyledons. This plant is also called Fritillaria lanceolata some of the time.
Perennial herb from a small, scaly bulb and numerous rice-sized offset bulblets, the unbranched, glabrous stem 1.5-10 dm. tall.Fritillaria affinis
1-2 whorls of 3-5 and scattered upward, lanceolate, 5-15 cm. long and 3-25 mm. broad.
Usually 2-5 in a raceme, broadly bell-shaped, pendant, strongly mottled, purplish to greenish or yellowish; tepals 6, lanceolate, distinct, 20-30 mm. long; the 6 slender filaments 2-3 times as long as the anthers; styles attached to each other about 1/3 of their length.Flowers usually 2-5 in a raceme, broadly bell-shaped, pendant, strongly mottled, purplish to greenish or yellowish; tepals 6, lanceolate, distinct, 20-30 mm. long; the 6 slender filaments 2-3 times as long as the anthers; styles attached to each other about 1/3 of their length.
capsules 2 cm. long, broadly winged.
February - June
West of the Cascades, British Columbia to California; also, east of the Cascades, Washington and British Columbia to Idaho
Prairies and grassy bluffs to woodlands and coniferous forests, sea level to fairly high elevations in the mountains
The bulbs of chocolate lily were eaten by most Coast and Interior Salish peoples, either boiled or steamed in pits. Chocolate lily, also called “rice root” by Native American peoples, has bulblets that look like grains of rice. The bulbs grow relatively close to the surface and are easily extracted.
Seed sample from: 2011
Average Measurement: 6.1 x 4.5 x 0.4
Measurement Range: L: 5.5 – 7, W: 3.5 – 5, D: 0.2 - 0.5
Shape: Seeds very flat and tear drop shaped. Seeds widely winged. Seed coat somewhat transparent, making seed body visible.
Color: Hilium is visible as a small darker brown dot on pointed end of seed. Seed is golden/brown/bronze.
Surface: Surface is lustrous and finely and erratically ridged, giving the seed an overall bumpy/pitted look.