Thursday, May 14, 2009

Checker Lily at Fort Steilacoom Park



Yesterday during a rainy walk at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, WA, my four year found a flower we hadn't seen before. His proximity to the ground and, of course, his acute powers of observation ;) seem to help make him good at finding new flowers, and he was so pleased about the new flower he found! It was nearby some camas flowers.

I think the flower he found is called a checker lily (Fritillaria affinis). I first identified it using the Lewis Clark's Field Guide To Wildflowers of Forest & Woodland in the Pacific Northwest, and then I looked at other sites on the internet, including Wikipedia, to try and verify that was the flower we found. Here is what Wikipedia says about the Fritillaria affinis:

Fritillaria affinis (checker lily, chocolate lily) is a highly variable species in the genus Fritillaria, native to western North America, in California, Klamath Ranges, the north coast ranges, Cascade Ranges, north Sierra Nevada foothills, and the San Francisco Bay Area, north to British Columbia and Idaho.

It grows from a bulb, which resembles a small mass of rice grains. The stems are 10-120 cm tall. The flowers are produced in the spring, nodding, 1-4 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.

Its habitat includes oak or pine scrub or open woods and thickets near the coast.

Here is a picture I took of it:

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