Fritillaria affinis (Chocolate Lily)

Scientific Name

Fritillaria affinis (Schult. & Schult.f.) Sealy

Common Names

Checker Lily, Chocolate Lily


Fritillaria affinis var. affinis, Fritillaria esculenta, Fritillaria eximia, Fritillaria lanceolata, Fritillaria lunellii, Fritillaria multiflora, Fritillaria mutica var. gracilis, Fritillaria phaeanthera, Lilium affine

Scientific Classification

Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Tribe: Lilieae
Genus: Fritillaria


Color: Yellowish or greenish-brown
Bloom Time: Mid Spring


Fritillaria affinis grows from a bulb, which resembles a small mass of rice grains. The stems are up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The flowers are produced in the spring, nodding, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm), yellowish or greenish-brown with a lot of yellow mottling to purplish-black with little mottling, or yellow-green mottled with purple. The leaves are in whorls.

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How to Grow and Care

Unusual and hardy, Fritillaria bulbs produce best when planted in moist soil in a sunny to part shade location in the flower bed. Wildflower Fritillaria lilies are an excellent choice for the gardener who wants an out of the ordinary specimen among more common spring-blooming bulbs.

Growing Fritillaria may reach 4 feet (1.2 m) or more in spring. Use wildflower Fritillarias as specimens, in groupings, or as an addition to a traditional bulb bed.

Be prepared to plant bulbs as soon as they arrive. Plant larger bulbs with the base about 5 inches (12.5 cm) below the soil surface, while smaller Fritillaria bulbs should be planted about 3 inches (7.5 cm) down. Plant bulbs in well-drained soil and keep it moist until the root system is established.

Fritillaria bulbs resist deer, squirrels, and bulb digging rodents and may help protect other bulbs that are favorites of the critters. See more at How to Grow and Care for Fritillaria Bulbs.


Native to western North America.


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