Chocolate Lily


This year we have been lucky to find several of these wonderful Chocolate Lilies blooming on the trails nearby. I am a bit up in the air as to the specific species as two reliable websites list the chocolate lily as two species one being Fritillaria affinis var. affinis and the other lists the plant as Fritillaria atropurpurea.

The plant is fairly inconspicuous and without the flower not very showy at all. It is a beautiful plant and we were glad to come across it as according to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center database it is one that frequently takes years off from flowering.

Yellow Bells:Fritillaria pudica

In addition to the Glacier Lillies carpeting the forest floor these small Yellow Bells, which are also in the Lilly family, have kept us company this spring. The plants are only 10-30cm tall and usually contain a single flower. They grow scattered in patches both in open areas as shown below and in more forested areas as well.

The bulb of yellowbells is edible, raw or cooked. It can also be dried for later use. Since it is rich in starch, it is best used in the autumn, however, many tribes picked them in May and boiled them alone or with bitterroot. The raw bulb tastes like potatoes, when cooked it tastes like rice. It can be eaten as a vegetable or be added to soups etc. Several tribes used them for food. The green seedpods can be eaten, boiled as a wild green, but are said to be bitter.

We found flowers that ranged from the typical yellow to some that were a deep orange.

A small treasure that springs from the ground and one to look forward to again.

Prickly Poppies

Prickly Poppies are a wonderful wildflower to have around. On our daily walks we can rest assured we will find some in bloom. Once found,  we can stop for a moment and enjoy the show as beetles, bees and ants do their work pollinating these delicate flowers. Even now, as fall approaches and most of the other wildflowers have lost their blooms, a few Prickly Poppies are still going strong.

They a treat for they eyes, like little whipped cream sundaes with a cherries on top.

Those little prickles protect such delicate yet tough flowers.

I am looking forward to see how long they continue blooming into the fall.

Denver, CO