Fritillaria atropurpurea Nutt.
Leopard lily is a perennial from a fleshy-scaled bulb. Plants are up to 16 inches tall; the few narrow leaves are about 3 inches long. The color is distinctive and the broadly bell-shaped flowers are variable; they may be purplish-brown spotted with yellow or white, or green with yellow edges and spotted with purple. One to 4 flowers about an inch wide grow from the leaf bases and hang downward. It flowers from the latter part of April through May and June. Fruit is an obovoid, angled capsule. Located in rich damp soils in valleys and open woods, also in mountains to near the timberline. Found throughout the Western United States and in southeastern Idaho.
Food: Uses The root or bulb, though small, may be eaten raw or cooked. It is
rich in starch.
Medicine Uses The plant has been pulverized into a salve and applied to scrofulous swellings.
A woodland plant, preferring light soils. It is best grown in a well-drained sandy woodland soil. Plants are best grown in a bulb frame and kept rather dry in summer. Water should be with held in summer or hot spells. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.
Cal Flora Photo
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