Look for the Chocolate Lily Wildflower This Weekend

If you're out and about in the wilderness this weekend in the Pacific Northwest you might want to keep an eye out for the elusive chocolate lily (purple lily, mission bell, Fritillaria lanceolata). It is actually quite common but is very difficult to see because of its coloring. This lily was one of the specimens collected by Lewis and Clark on their expedition on April 10, 1806 at the current location of the Bonneville Dam. They wrote;

"Specemin of lilliacious plant obtained on Brant Island 10thof apl 1806, the root of this plant is a squawmus bulb and is eaten by the natives. The Clah-clel-lar [Indians] opposite this Island call it tel-lak-thil-pah."

It's one of my new favorites. The pictures below were taken around Liberty Lake, WA.

Fritillaria affinis 5 web

Fritillaria affinis 2 web

Fritillaria affinis 1 web