Fritillaria affinis

Checker Lily

Plant Type: Bulb
Sun: Partial Shade, Shade
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Naturalize
Height X Width: 2' X 0.5'
Santa Clara County Local: Yes
What do these mean?



The checker lily is quite common in the coastal mountains north of Santa Barbara. It sends up one or more leaves in the late winter. These are followed in some years by an inflorescence (flower stock) of two or more striking pendant flowers. Checker lilies must mature for several seasons before enough energy is stored in the bulb for flower and seed production. It’s been interesting to observe that year by year the leaves are a little larger, culminating in a single exceptionally wide leaf. In my limited experience, this “solar panel” leaf allows for more substantial bulb growth and precedes the production of flowers in the following year. Checker lilies need a well-draining setting with dappled light. Like most bulbs it must be kept completely dry during summer dormancy. Try growing Fritillaria affinis in a pot, so you can provide its distinct requirements and protect it from gophers. The pot must be stored in a cool, shady setting, however, because the bulb will easily dry out with too much heat.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous