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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. 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.
Checker Lily, Mission Bells, or Chocolate Lily. The roots or bulbs cooked make palatable and nutritious food.