The bell-shaped white flowers have greenish stripes and are set on a nodding pedicel of about 37 centimeters in height. The blossoms are odorless to faintly fragrant. Fritillia liliacea prefers heavy soils including clays; for example, andesitic and basaltic soils derived from the Sonoma Volcanic soil layers are suitable substrate for this species.
The range of this wildflower is over parts of southwestern Northern California, United States, especially Solano and Sonoma counties and at coastal locations south to Monterey County; occurrence is typically in open hilly grasslands at altitudes less than 200 meters in elevation.
This California endemic has been a candidate for listing as a U.S. federally endangered species, and some of the remaining fragmented colonies are at risk of local extinction, such that the species is considered locally endangered. Example occurrences are: Edgewood Park in San Mateo County and the Sonoma Mountains foothills in Sonoma County. Examples of highly fragmented or extirpated colonies are in San Francisco due to urban development.
- Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
- Flora of North America, Vol. 26 Page 169, Fragrant fritillary, Fritillaria liliacea Lindley
- Biota of North America Program, 2014 county distribution map, Fritillaria liliacea Lindley
- Calflora taxon report, Fritillaria liliacea Lindley, fragrant fritillary
- Flora of North America: dichotomous key to Fritillia species of North America
- C.Michael Hogan, John Torrey, Brian McElroy et al., Environmental Impact Report, Southeast Santa Rosa Annexation 2-88, Earth Metrics Inc., Report 7941, California State Clearinghouse, Sacramento, Ca., March 1990
- Jepson Manual, University of California Press (1993)
- California Native Plant Society, Rare Plant Program. 2015. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants, Fritillaria liliacea
- Photograph of Fritillaria liliacea, University of California @ Davis Botany club
- USDA Plant profile for Fritillaria liliacea
- Fritillariaicones.com" Fritillaria Icones Laurence Hill
- Scottish Rock Garden Club, Bulb Log 29 (2006) — photos of bulbs of this and several other species.