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Where the garden meets the wild

FRITILLARIA  FRITILLARY  Liliaceae (Lily family) 贝母属 Bei mu shu

Return to Plants Index    Bulbs Index 

Fritillaria sewerzowii in our garden. Photograph © Paige Woodward 


These choice spring bulbs with nodding, bell-like flowers all come from temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They need a cool period to stimulate growth, then sun to part shade ~ depending on the species ~ with a cool, well aerated root run. Some need a dry summer; others don't care. Some are sweetly perfumed; others attract pollinating flies with a funky, carrion smell that for some people has a primal charm. Rejoice in the beauty of your fritillaries, and don't stick your nose where it won't be pleased. 

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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria acmopetala Boiss. subsp. acmopetla  'Brunette'.  This is a good garden plant that multiplies fast. In April-May it has flowers with greenish outer segments and inner segments that are brown-maroon, especially toward the base; inside, the flower is yellow. It is native to Turkey. Our plants descend from bulbs collected in Antalya province at 1000 m (3300') by Eduard Hanslik of Prague. They were growing under trees. Give them rich, well aerated loam in part-day shade. Height about 50 cm (20"). Zone 6-7. Award of Garden Merit (Royal Horticultural Society) 1993 to the species in general. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). In Canada C$8.00; elsewhere US$7.25. 


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Photograph © Pat Woodward

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Photograph © Paige  Woodward

Fritillaria affinis (Schult. & Schult. f.) Sealy. Chocolate lily. Rice-root. Checker-lily. Nodding 2.5-cm (1") bells, subtly mottled purple-brown and yellow-green, bloom in April-May. The narrow leaves are in whorls. This is a portmanteau species, most of it formerly called Fritillaria lanceolata, that is native from British Columbia and Idaho to California. Wet winter, drier summer.  Produces "rice-grain" bulblets. The plants we offer are SW BC stock from wild seed. Edible. The traditional flavor picker-upper among First Nations in BC was oolichon grease, the preserved oil of a fat little fish. Height 25-60 cm (10-16"). Zone 6. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $8.00


Fritillaria alfredae subsp. glaucoviridis

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $8.00


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Photograph © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria armena Boiss. This is a miniature, perfect for a  trough or the glasshouse. Nodding, conical flowers, purple-black with a bloom, open in April-May. They are usually solitary. Native to NE Turkey. Our bulbs descend from material collected in 1982 in Gümüshane province at 2200-2400 m (7200-9400'). The bulbs are naturally small and produce many bulblets. Height 6-8 cm (2-3.5"). Zone 6, possibly colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $10.00


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Photographs © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria aurea Schott. Golden lily.  Plump, yellow,  square-shouldered bells with maroon tesselation bloom on short stems among glaucous leaves in April. As the flower ages, it often blushes red. Our particularly vigorous and large-flowered clone of this dwarf species descends from bulbs collected by Norman Stevens near Matalya in Turkey in 1979. This treasure needs a dry summer and a dry winter; we grow it in pots in a cold frame.  Try it in a trough. Height to about 15 cm (6"). Zone 7, possibly colder.  

Only a few. Bulb (Fall shipping only). $15.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria bithynica Baker. This is a riveting selection of a variable species native to the E Mediterranean. Nodding flowers that are yellow inside and glaucous green without bloom in March-April above glaucous foliage. The capsule has 6 vertical ridges instead of 3. Our plants descend from material collected by Antoine Hoog and Erich Pasche in 1983 in W Turkey's Çanakkale province at 500 m (200'). Height 10-15cm (4-6"). Zone 7? Start out in the glasshouse.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $8.00


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Photograph © Paige Woodward

Fritillaria bucharica Regel. Flared, pendulous white flowers with dark green nectaries bloom in April. Mature bulbs have up to 30 of these flowers on very leafy stems. Native to Central Asia. Dry summer. Our plants descend from material collected by Leonid Bondarenko on Mt. Vachsh Nurek in Tajikistan in 1990. Height 20-50 cm (8-20"). Zone 5. 

Not available this season. 


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Photograph © Dorrie Woodward 

 

Fritillaria camschatcensis  (L.) Ker-Gawler. Black lily. Northern rice-root. Eskimo potato. Sarana. Black seranna. Kamchatka lily. The striking flowers, blooming in May-June, are terminal, flaring, and maroon to black. Their smell of distant, rotting meat disappears in a day or two. Adapted to wet meadows. Stoloniferous. Produces "rice-grain" bulblets. Native along the arc of coast from Japan in Asia to Alaska and Washington in North America. A traditional food of BC First Nations. Botanist friends of ours ate dozens of  bulbs raw one night when they were marooned in the wild. What do they taste like? "Hazelnuts." Our plants are from wild seed collected on Vancouver Island.  Height 30-80 cm (12-30"). Zone 5. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $10.00


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Photograph © Paige Woodward

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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria caucasica Adams. This beauty is close to F. armena, but twice as tall, with more leaves and larger, darker flowers. One or two flowers, deep plum with a grey bloom, open in April amid glaucous leaves. Our plants descend from material collected in Armenia in the Caucasus Mountains. They do not require a dry winter. Height 25-35 cm (10-14"). Zone 6, perhaps colder.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $14.00


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Photographs © Paige Woodward

Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica (Boiss. & Noë) Rix. 'Talysh' This vigorous small clone produces 2-5  flowers in April-May that are chequered maroon: over green outside and over yellow inside. Our photo doesn't do justice to this charming, veiled effect. The leaves are glaucous. This species is a lime lover. Our plants descend from material collected by Jánis Rukšáns in the Talysh Range of Azerbaijan in 1987. We have offered this plant before without the cultivar name. Height 20-30 cm (8-12"). Dry summer. Zone 6. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $5.00


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Photographs © Paige Woodward

Fritillaria eduardii  Regel. What a gorgeous, vigorous plant! Its apricot flowers with russet veins evoke helpless adoration. This is said to be a natural hybrid of F. imperialis, which is huge, garish orange, and stinks to high heaven, and F. raddeana, which we love because it is smaller, creamy and odorless. Found in montane scrub in Tajikistan, F. eduardii blooms in April-May and is said not to smell.  If we plunge our nose into the flower and sniff hard, we note a mildly funky scent, but it does not waft about. Zone 6, perhaps colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $25.00 


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria graeca Boissier & Spruner. We offer a high-altitude form of this variable species native to Greece and Bulgaria. Our plants descend from material collected in alpine meadows at 1800 m (5900') on Mt. Giona, in Greece's. Fokis province, by Antoine Hoog in 1989. The bulbs were growing mostly on NW-facing slopes, with Colchicum parnassicum and Corydalis solida subsp. incisa. Height in cultivation 15 cm (6"). Zone 6, perhaps colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $7.25


Fritillaria hermonis Fenzl subsp. hermonis Rix. This choice plant is named for its home in the Hermon Mountains of Lebanon, where it dwells in rocky places at up to 1500 m (5000'). One to three green bells, faintly chequered, are borne on 25-35 cm (10-12") stems in March. The new leaves are not frost-hardy. This is a treasure for the glasshouse and the  show table. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $19.00


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Photograph © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria latakiensis Rix.  The dusky flowers, purple tinged with yellow green, are 30-45 mm (1.3-1.7") long and bloom in April-May. The narrow leaves are glaucous.  This bulb multiplies rapidly; to ensure flowers as well as offsets, feed it on emergence with a good pinch of Potassium sulphate (Sulfate of potash). Native to Latakia, on the coast of Syria, and to the Taurus Mountains of SW Turkey. Our plants descend from material collected by Ahmet Atilla in the Taurus in 1973. They need a dry summer with occasional watering. Height  25-40 cm (10-16").  Zone 7, perhaps colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $12.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria minuta Boissier& Noë. Rare and choice, this tiny   May-blooming species has a solitary nodding flower, colored apricot to rust, with dark nectaries in a netted yellow interior. The leaves are bright  green. It is native to SE Turkey around Lake Van, at 1500-2000 m (5,000-7,000'). Our plants descend from material collected at 1650 m (5400') by Hans Leep and Erich Pasche in 1972. This plant prefers light shade and cool, moist soil, rich in humus. The bulb is naturally small and produces many offsets. To encourage flowering, provide a dry summer in shade. Height. 5-10 cm (2-4"). Zone 6, perhaps colder.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $14.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog. 

Fritillaria montana Hoppe. The two to four flowers, about 25 mm (1") long and plump like a plum, are lime green heavily chequered purple-black over brown, and have a spermatic scent. The leaves are glaucous. Easy, beautiful and stoloniferous. The species is native to much of Europe. Our bulbs descend from stock collected in Croatia by Antoine Hoog in 1989. Bloom is early, in March-April. Height  25-40 cm (10-16"). Dry summer. Zone 6.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $9.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog. 

Fritillaria nigra Mill. How can you resist? Two to five almost-black flowers per stem bloom in March-April above glaucous, linear leaves. The species is widespread in Europe. Our plants are from an old garden cultivar. Height 30-50 cm (12-20"). Zone 6, possibly colder.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $9.00


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Photographs © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria pallidiflora Schrenk. 伊贝母 Yi bei mu (Chinese). This is a deservedly popular garden plant. Large, square-shouldered, mimosa-yellow bells with delicate green veins bloom in April above glaucous leaves that are 3-4 cm (1.5") wide. This species is native to Kazakhstan and to Xinjiang in China, where it is cultivated for use in medicine. It prefers part shade and moist soil with no dry period. Our bulbs are of garden origin. Height 25-45 cm (8-18"). Award of Garden Merit (Royal Horticultural Society) 1993. Zone 6.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $9.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog. 

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Photograph © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria persica L.'Senköy' This is a familiar beauty with a twist. The flowers are plum-colored bells with a glaucous bloom and they rise on tall wands from a whopping bulb in April-May. As usual. But the whorled leaves, instead of being parallel to the ground, are at a 45º angle, and have more presence because they are twisted and half as wide as normal. Fritillaria persica is native to a wide swathe from Cyprus through Turkey and Syria to Iran. Our plants descend from stock collected by Ahmet Atilla in S Turkey near the village of Senköy. It happens that in this region F. libanotica (Boiss.) Bak. has also been found. F. libanotica has flowers like those of  F. persica, plum with bloom, and twisted, 45º foliage. Coincidence? Height 70-100 cm (27.5-40"). Zone 6, perhaps colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $12.00


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Photograph © Pat Woodward

Fritillaria pudica (Pursh) Sprengel. Yellow bell.  Small, exquisite and super-hardy. All it asks is a cold winter and a dry summer. The lemon-yellow flowers appear right after snow melts, aging to saffron or red. Bend low and sniff: they are sweetly perfumed! Native to sagebrush country from British Columbia to California, Montana and Wyoming. Produces "rice-grain" bulblets. Our bulbs descend from garden plants. They survive our heavy coastal rains ~ indeed, they are multiplying ~ in a steep, gritty bed of mineral soil with extra dolomite scumbled in.  Height 10-20 cm (4-8"). Zone 4.  

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $6.00


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Photograph © Paige Woodward 

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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria raddeana Regel ex Batal. Luxurious umbels of  greenish yellow-cream flowers bloom in March-April above polished green foliage. Native to Central Asia, this plant is related to Fritillaria imperialis, but far less common and lacks the gagging odor. It is thought to be one parent of F. eduardii. Our plants descend from material collected by Paul Furse in Khorassan province, NE Iran, in 1966. Height 40-70 cm (16-28"). Dry summer. Zone 4.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $19.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria aff. rhodocanakis  Orphanides ex Baker & Turrill subsp. rhodocanakis.  Fat little brown bells, the tips of their petals brushed with gold, bloom in April amid lanceolate, glaucous leaves.  This species is supposed to be endemic only to the Greek island of Hydra, off the E Peloponnesus. Our plants descend from material collected on the mainland nearby, at Didyma, by Ernst Markus. They were growing in olive groves, the bulbs at a depth of 30-35 cm (12-14"). They produce bulblets freely. Height 10-20 cm (4-8"). Zone 7, possibly colder. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $4.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

Fritillaria rhodocanakis Orphanides ex Baker & Turrill subsp. argolica Zaharof. Endemic to the Greek island of Hydra. Our plants descend from material collected by Ole Sønderhousen. Each stem bears up to three pendant, slightly recurved flowers that are maroon at the base and yellow on the margins. Bloom time is April. The lanceolate leaves are dark green. Like the other subspecies, this one produces bulblets freely. Height 10-20 cm (4-8").

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $4.00


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Photographs © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria sewerzowii Regel. Sometimes called Korolkowia sewerzowii. Robust, floriferous, graceful and subtly colored, this is one of our favorite plants. Pale greenish-yellow flowers with centres shading from rust to bitter chocolate bloom in April-May, flaring wide to display maroon-black anthers. On the outside, the flowers are glaucous purple-brown shading to yellow. The leaves are thick, lanceolate, glaucous and up to 4 cm (2") wide. This species is native to screes in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Aghanistan, N Pakistan and W China. Height 20-30 cm (8-12" ). Dry winter. Zone 6, possibly colder.

We grow F. sewerzowii both in cold frames and in a roofed rock garden. In the rock garden (bottom photo), the bulbs have gradually worked themselves to the surface, weathering freeze-thaw-freeze and growing fatter each year. If your winters are very hard, though, you might want to plant the bulb a little deeper than usual to foil premature emergence.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $20.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog. 

Fritillaria sibthorpiana (Smith) Baker. This choice small  fritillary sends up its yellow bells in April. It is ideal for pots and troughs, but also does well in the open garden. Give it well aerated soil in a sunny position. Native to SW Turkey.  Our plants descend from material collected for Ahmet Atila in near Marmaris, in Mugla province. Height 10-15 cm (4-6"). Zone 7, possibly colder.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $20.00


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Photograph © Pat Woodward.

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Photographs © Paige Woodward 

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Photograph © Jim Swayne

Fritillaria stenanthera (Regel) Regel. Diminutive lily-trumpets of tenderest apricot pink bloom in March-May amid glaucous leaves. At the heart of each flower lies a dark star formed by purple nectaries. Native to Central Asia. Best grown under cover unless you get almost no rain. The plant about to unfurl (top left ~ is this not a marvel of packaging?) was grown here in Chilliwack, in a cold frame, as were the next two. The plant in soil (bottom left) is growing in a field in dry eastern Washington state. All our plants descend from material collected by Vladimír Vašák in the Karzhan-Tau Range of Uzbekistan in 1989. Height 10-15 cm (4-6"). Dry summer. Zone 6. 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $15.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog 

Fritillaria stribrnyi Velen. One or two slender flowers, glaucous green without and brown within, bloom in April amid blue-green foliage. The seed capsules are double-edged (with 6 corners rather than 3), a feature shared with F. bithynica. Native from S Bulgaria to W Turkey. Our plants descend from material collected by Vladimir Vašák in Turkey's northwestern Edirne province, at 100 m (330') in 1993. Height 25-35 cm (10-14"). Zone 6, possibly colder.

 

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $12.00


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Photograph © A.M.D. Hoog

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Photograph © Paige Woodward 

Fritillaria verticillata  Willdenow. 黄花贝母 Huang hua bei mu (Chinese). This beautiful form of a variable species  blooms abundantly in April, with up to six greenish-white bells on a 30-40 cm (12-16" ) stem. Its narrow leaves are tipped with tendrils to help it stand up in tall grass. Native to Kazakhstan, to Siberia in Russia and to Xinjiang in China. Our plants descend from bulbs collected in the southern Altai Mountains where China and Kazakhstan meet. Being adapted to harsh conditions, F. verticillata does well in meagre soil in sun to part shade. It is drought-tolerant once established. Zone 5, possibly colder.

Bulb (Fall shipping only). $17.50


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Photograph © Tony Goode

Fritillaria whittallii  Baker. This small, April-flowering beauty has a flower like Fritillaria meleagris, but more tesselated with red-brown instead of maroon, and with a grey-green background instead of white. The leaves are narrow and glaucous. Native to rocky slopes in SW Turkey. Our bulbs descend from material collected by Vladimír Vašák on Yumru Dağ, Antalya province, at 1300-1400 m (4300-4600') in 1993. Height 15-25 cm (6-10"). Zone 6. 

Only a few. Bulb (Fall shipping only). $14.00


This page was updated May 12, 2008
 
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