Fritillaria: Strange and Wonderful Bulbs for Gardens and Containers
Fritillariaor the fritillaries is a genus of bulbous perennials best-known by the popular chequered lily (F. meleagris) and one of the strangest structured plants to grace our gardens, the crown imperial or F. imperialiswith its vertical stems and whorls of leaves topped with large pendulous yellow, orange or red bells and another whorl of green bracts.
The other members of the genus, which includes up to about 140 species from the Mediterranean basin, Eurasia, southwest Asia, and western North America, offer a mix of forms and colours always with pendulous bells.
Like the crown imperial, the Persian fritillary, F. persica, is also tall with elegant spires of grape purple, pink or green flowers. Some species like F. pallidiflorawith its yellow flowers or F. stenantherawith its pink starry flowers are conventionally pretty while others like the green and burgundy coloured F. elwesiior F. hermonisssp. amanaare oddballs that will appeal to more esoteric gardeners.
Fritillariacan be grown in average, well-drained soils in full sun. Some species might appreciate sharper drainage depending on your region and its weather conditions. They can also be grown in pots and can make impressive container specimens.
At Phoenix Perennials, we offer a variety of Fritillariafor pre-ordering through the summer and fall for pick-up or shipping in late September and early October. Should supplies last, we may also have them available potted up in early spring. Here are the species and cultivars we are offering for fall 2019: