Checker Lily (Fritillaria affinis)

More size information here.
Adding to cart… The item has been added

Shy early-season blooms, edible bulbs!

In early spring, this member of the Lily family lets a few bell-shaped blooms dangle from the top of its stem. These purple-and-yellow checkered flowers don't appear every year, as the plant occasionally chooses just to produce a small leaf instead. These ephemeral flowers are enchanting, and some of our favorites to watch. In late spring the flower petals fall to the ground, and are replaced by attractive hexagonal seed heads.

Also known as rice root (a name also applied Fritillaria Camschatcensis), Checker Lily grows from a bulb that looks like a bunch of rice grains pressed together. These bulbs are edible and high in starch.

Once common up and down the Pacific coast, Checker Lily is now somewhat rare. It inhabits prairies, meadows, open woodlands, pine scrublands, and lucky people's gardens.

Photo credit: Franco Folini from San Francisco, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Long-lived perennial (20+ years)
Mostly sun to part sun
Moist, rich soil that mostly dries out in summer
About 2 feet tall
Dark purple with yellow-green flecks
Bloom Period:
Early spring to mid spring
Native Range:
BC through California, both sides of the Cascades to middle elevations
Typical Habitat:
Prairies, open woodland, pine scrubland