Chocolate lily is an uncommon early spring-blooming glabrous perennial
with a stout, light green stem, nodding, bell-shaped brownish-purple
flowers lined inside with green and purple, and alternate, linear to
narrowly ovate leaves to 5" long. This species develops from
a bulb and may grow to a height of 16", preferring heavy clay soils
on open grassy slopes and mesas below about 3000' from San Diego and
Riverside Cos. north. It blooms from February to April, but may
bloom as late as June if rainfall and temperature conditions are right.
Its dark and lovely appearance has earned it the nickname of 'Cleopatra
of the Fritillaries.' It has also been referred to as Mission
Bells. These pictures were taken at Nicholas Flat in the Santa
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Fritillaria
Pronunciation: fri-til-AIR-ee-a bye-FLOR-a.
Click here for Botanical