Black lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis) is a pan-Pacific species found in limited distribution in the Pacific Northwest. Within Washington State, this species is restricted to tidal marshes of Puget Sound and freshwater montane wetlands in the west slope of the Cascade Mountains. It is listed as a sensitive species by the Washington Natural Heritage Program and Oregon Natural Heritage Program.

Fritillaria camschatcensis (black lily)

In her research, Alaine Sommargren is characterizing the habitats where the black lily occurs in order to gain a better understanding of the species’ ecological requirements. In the spring of 2007, Ms. Sommargren visited eight locations in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia where the black lily occurs to collect data on elevation, surrounding vegetation, light availability, decay class of the growth medium, topography and slope. Soil samples were also collected and analyzed for percent organic matter, pH, salinity, and inorganic nitrogen. Together, these data will highlight the habitat factors that are common between the disparate environments in the Pacific Northwest in which black lily is found.

In the second component of her research, Ms. Sommargren focused on the microhabitats within one Puget Sound estuary. She compared soil, vegetation, light and elevational data from plots with and without black lily so that elements of the environment that either allow or exclude black lily can be identified.

Ms. Sommargren presented her findings in June 2008. It is her hope that the results of her work will aid in the reintroduction of black lily to newly restored estuaries in the Puget Sound.

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