Fritillaria crown imperial (imperialis),  bulb photo (persica)

(fri-till-air' ee-ah)

Family: Liliaceae, Lily

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Soil: moist, well-drained

Light: full sun to part shade

Pests and problems: leaf spots, rusts

Other interest: from Latin fritillus meaning a dice box and refering to the pattern on the flowers of meleagris resembling pattern on such; heirloom flowers; deer and rodents do not bother

Culture: plant larger bulbs 6" to 7" deep and 8" to 10" apart,  smaller  bulbs 5" to 6" deep and 5" to 6" apart; plant early in fall, and immediately upon receipt; generally zones 4-8 unless noted

Landscape uses: small bulbs in rock gardens or naturalized, or front of borders; larger bulbs interplanted, or in rear of borders, or as specimens

Propagation: bulb offsets from mother bulbs after flowering and foliage dies

Those marked * are main 3 species, with other commonly found of about 100 species (links to photos)

Other species:
acmopetala (ak' moe-pe-tal-ah)-- native of Cyprus, introduced around 1874; flowers broadly bell-shaped to 2" long, hanging 1-3 on stems 15-20" high, green interiors, white with purple exteriors, April/May; linear leaves; zones 4-8

assyriaca (ass-syr' ee-aa-kah)-- may be seen as caniculata, native to Turkey, introduced around 1874; purple-maroon small flowers with gold interiors, April/May, hanging 1-5 on stems 12-15"; leaves alternate up stems, narrow lanceolate and upwardly erect; zones 4-8

*imperialis (im-peer-ee-al' iss)-- Crown Imperial, Imperial Fritillary; 3-4' x 6"; flowers of species usually orange, pendulous from top of thick stem topped by upright tuft of small leaves, skunk-like odor, May/June; foliage alternate, lanceolate, to 6" long and 1" wide, wavy (sinuate) margin, smooth (glabrous); zones 4-8; native to So. Asia, introduced in 1665; supposedly repels rodents; main species usually found

*meleagris (mel-ee-aa' griss)-- Checquered Lily, Guinea-hen flower, Snake's Head; 9-15" x 3"; flowers usually solitary, drooping, white or purple mottled or chequered, April/May; leaves alternate, linear 3-6" long and narrow under ¼" wide; zones 3-8; native to No. Europe; probably next most seen; good in moist conditions, such as with Marsh Marigolds

michailowskyi (mic-ale-ow' ski-ii)--native to Turkey, relatively recently introduced; purple-maroon bells similar to assyriaca, only with yellow edges and bright yellow interiors, April/May; also shorter, about 8" high; zones 4-8

pallidiflora (pal-id-i-floor' ah)-- native to Siberia, introduced around 1857; flowers light yellow, bell-shaped, hanging, 1-6 on stems 12" tall May/June; leaves alternate up stems, broad lanceolate, glaucous; zones 4-8

*persica (purr' sic-hah)-- Persian Fritillary; 24-30" x 3"; 7-20 flowers or more in an erect, terminal raceme,  narrow bell-shaped, purple-maroon, April/May; leaves alternate up stems, lanceolate, gray-green,  2-4"  long; zones 4-8; native to W. Asia and Middle East (Turkey), introduced in 1573; more seen in trade recently

pontica (pon' ti-cah)-- native to Turkey and Greece; prefers part-shade; 1-3 nodding bell-shaped flowers, 2-3" long and broad, on stems 6-16" high, greenish-white with purplish cast, April/May; opposite and lanceolate narrow leaves; zones 4-8

pudica (pooh' di-cah)-- may be called Johnny Jump-Up, native to W. No. America; flowers bright yellow bell-shaped, 1-6 hanging on stems 6-8" high, fragrant as freesias, April/May; few linear to lanceolate leaves; zones 4-8

verticillata --native to W. Asia and Central Siberia; 1-5 flowers hanging on climbing tendrils 12- 30", white with greenish cast, large bell-shaped, long lasting, April/May; opposite to whorled leaves, linear to lanceolate; zones 4-8

Cultivars: those marked * are more common
Cultivars species flowers other
alba meleagris white  
alba persica white less common
'Ariana' bucharica white, green veins 20-30/stem, 12-18"
'Aureomarginata' imperialis orange red leaves edged gold
'Aurora' imperialis orange-red 24-36" tall, vigorous
'Crown on Crown':'Prolifera'      
'Fragrance' pudica buttercup yellow twin fls, 3-6"
'Golden Flag' aurea bright yellow 6-8", zones 5-8
'Goldilocks' glauca yellow, hanging 6", zones 6-9
*'Ivory Bells' persica alba white somewhat rare
'Lutea'  imperialis lemon yellow  
*'Lutea Maxima' imperialis larger than 'Lutea'  
'Martha Roderick' biflora green/brown hanging native N.Amer., 5-8"
'Prolifera' imperialis red-orange in 2 stacked whorls
'Rubra' imperialis orange brown  
*'Rubra Maxima' imperialis larger than 'Rubra'  
 var. amana hermonis  green, brown  1-2 on 4-10" stems


©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

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