Fritillaria is a genius genus of over 100 species of bulbs from the lily family with an attractive and graceful habit. They generally grow about 4-12 inches in height and have pendulous bell shaped flowers of yellow, orange, purple, green or white in the spring. they often have a chequered green or brown colouring.
In Germany this handsome flower is also called Lapwing-egg, Chess Flower and Boardgame Flower (in German I suppose) Some common English names include Fritillary, Toad lily, Snake’s Head Fritillary, Guinea hen flower and Crown Imperial.
- If these Fritillaria are grown from seeds sown fresh they will yield more bulbs than one would have obtained from offsets of the old bulbs but they can be slow to produce plants of flowering size.
- Many of the species are suitable for the frame or Alpine house but are also grown in borders and grass (Fritillaria meleagris the Snake’s Head is seen like this in Magdalen College Oxford).
- Other species to look out for include the small Fritillaria tubiformis and its hybrids, Fritillaria verticillata with white bells on a taller plant and Fritillaria camschatcensis (the Black Sarana) with a very dark maroon almost black flower.
- The Crown imperial or Kaiser’s Crown Fritillaria imperialis can grow to an imposing 3 feet and is best planted at least 10″ deep.
- For information on Fratillaria gentneri see the National collection of imperiled plants
- The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
- Alpine Garden Society (AGS)
- Garden Organic the national charity for organic gardening formerly Henry Double Day Research
- BBC Gardening
- See our sister site Gardening Products for tips and ideas on Garden products new and old.
- Woodlands Trust
- The Pacific Bulb Society
- Thompson & Morgan search for seeds and plants