Fritillaria affinis in Puget Sound country

stephen munro
Tue, 08 May 2012 17:24:54 PDT
The past couple of weekends I have been happy to find Fritillaria affinis unexpectedly at two fairly different locales on and close to Puget Sound in western Washington State.  
The first location was at a county park in Olympia.  The park has a nice stretch of beach along the Budd Inlet and this is where I found a large patch of these bulbs.  They were growing in almost complete shade on the east slope of a cliff.  The west side of the cliff faced the beach.  They were growing more or less alone and the only plant associates nearby were Douglas Fir  and Madrone (Pseudotsuga and Arbutus menziesii ).  The park in places is smothered by weeds  but this area was more or less clear of them. Interestingly there is a large country park sign right in front of them. Perhaps this has kept them from being dug or picked since it obscures them?
The second location was at a prairie preserve near Tacoma about fifteen miles from Puget Sound and perhaps 300-500 ft elevation.  The tree associate nearby was the Oregon White Oak or Garry Oak (Quercus garryana).  A few affinis were growing under one of these trees but the vast majority were found growing amongst a native shrub. Two clumps of shrubs predominated with the grasses and these were Oregon grape (Mahonia or is it Berberis? aquifolium) and Snowberry (Symphiocarpus albus).  No bulbs were found among the Snowberry  but they were found among the Oregon grape.  The latter provided enough open space for the affinis to grow (mostly in full sun) and the prickly foliage may afford protection from deer.  This reminds me of a time I found an immense Fritillaria recurva at a county park in Jackson County, Oregon growing through a clump of twisted barb wire.  
I neglected to bring my camera on both occasions but I hope this illustrated the different habitats F. affinis was found in. 
Stephen Munro

From: Alberto Castillo <>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <> 
Sent: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 5:14 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] What is a bulb?

Crinum and Ismene and many others have pseudoNECKS but they have true bulbs.


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