A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Yellow Bells (Fritillaria pudica)

Seven-mile Hill, Columbia Gorge, OR, 2/2015.

Seven-mile Hill, Columbia Gorge, OR, 2/2015.


According to Ronald Taylor’s Sagebrush Country, the Latin fritillaria comes from fritill, which is Latin for “dice box”, which the fruits of this flower, and its relative the Checker Lily, are said to resemble.  We have no idea what a dice box looks like (no help from google), but we’ll take his word for it, and for the translation of pudica, which he says means “ashamed or bashful”, due to the flower’s nodding posture.  Another reference claims these grow at all elevations, although we didn’t find them til we were nearly at the top of Coyote Wall.  Definitely worth the climb!

Coyote Wall Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 3/2014.

Coyote Wall Trail, Columbia Gorge, WA, 3/2014.

According to  Arthur Kruckeberg, “Bulb fanciers the world over worship at the feet of this captivating clan of lily-like plants.  Species of Old World fritillaries have been grown in gardens for years, much as have species of tulips.”  Gardening with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest (1982).

2 responses

  1. Tina

    Thank you so much for posting these beautiful photos of this charming little flower! They used to bloom by the hundreds on my family’s dry farm in Utah back in the 1960’s. As children we used to gather the blossoms every spring, never imagining that one day there would be no more blossoms. My Dad changed the dry farm to irrigated and also began plowing those fields and that was the end for these delicate little wildflowers. I’m so happy to know that they still exist and grow elsewhere in the western states.

    February 21, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    • Thank you! We love these litter yellow harbingers of spring too! Sadly, the efficiency of modern farming doesn’t leave room for such charm..

      February 22, 2021 at 9:47 pm

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