Submitted by Kelaidis on

This has been the year of the Frit for me: I've been planting them for years and getting them from here and there, and finally most of them are blooming and I'm pleased as punch: here are three to kick things off: I got the pinardii and sibthorpiana from Jane McGary and the Fritillaria sewerzowii from Ellen Hornig: all are charming...

Trying to get some decent pix of the numerous chequered, dark gloomy ones. Hard!


Submitted by Boland on Mon, 04/19/2010 - 16:26

Love that last species Panayoti!  I saw that one last year in Jacques Thompson's coldhouse.

No frits even in bud yet but I'm happy to say persica will bloom this year after a hiatus last year.  If only imperialis would bloom...I get a bloom every 5 years or so...the clump is up to 12 stems now.

Submitted by Hoy on Sun, 05/02/2010 - 12:19

The best Frit here is F. meleagris. It is one of the few plants the slugs let alone so it sows itself in humid places.
Here with lesser celandine. a weed here.

Submitted by Boland on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 18:01

First to open for me is michailovskyi

Submitted by Kelaidis on Mon, 05/03/2010 - 21:13

  Not to burst bubbles: what you have there is almost certainly Fritillaria uva-vulpis, which admittedly has a resemblance to michaelovskyi in being bicolored. But F. michaelovskyi has much bigger, more campanulate flowers with much brighter purple and broader yellow band. I think I have a picture or two to share...The first is the F. michaelovskyi, and the next two are F. gracilis and F. latakiensis (both thanks to the redoubtable Jane McGary): both have beautiful markings inside the bells: sure love them frits!

Submitted by IMYoung on Tue, 05/04/2010 - 08:01


numerous chequered, dark gloomy ones

Holy moly, PK, they're never gonna let you take their photo if you speak about them like that! :o
And be glad that this is not  Ian who is  reading you calling them "names", too  :o .... that could ruin his day!


Submitted by Boland on Fri, 05/07/2010 - 04:10

I was thinking it was uva-vulpis, but the tag said michailovskyi...I bought it at a local nursery as the latter, not the former...darn those Holland bulb producers and their labeling!

Submitted by Kelaidis on Sun, 05/09/2010 - 04:52

Not to worry, Todd: I have no end of mysteries in my garden. And I know that a large proportion of the nursery sold plants are fictitiousloy named at best. Below I'm posting three more of the darkling frits that seem to like my garden. Fritillaria hermonis ssp. amana is far and away the most vigorous and most amazing fritillaria we grow: it LOVES Colorado, and makes huge clumps: at Denver Botanic Garden there are masses of it in Woodland Mosaic Garden--plants with dozens of flowers nearly a yard tall. Fritillaria assyriaca  is likewise one that really likes us, and grows in a variety of sites. My happiest clumps are in the blue gramma lawn alongside all the Zigadenus venenosus and Calochortus where this picture was taken. The last, narrow flowered thing came from Jane McGary (where so many of my best bulbs come from): I lost the label. Any guesses?

Submitted by IMYoung on Sun, 05/09/2010 - 07:55


The last, narrow flowered thing came from Jane McGary (where so many of my best bulbs come from): I lost the label. Any guesses?

Looks like Fritillaria elwesii to me, PK.    (Maggi speaking, since Ian is still in shock about the "numerous chequered, dark gloomy ones" remark!!) ;D

Submitted by Kelaidis on Sun, 05/09/2010 - 21:19

Do they sell smelling salts in Scotland? I must certainly send some along for poor Ian....hope he has recovered a bit!

We are experiencing the longest, loveliest spring in our history: even cherries are lasting for weeks in bloom it's been so cool.

How will I ever go back to our usual schizophrenic weather? No wonder you Scots grow things so well...although we have sun rather than rain. Cool sun. Very cool indeed!

I don't think we've had a hot day this year so far..ordinarily it would have seesawed up into the 80's repeatedly...making plants hasten. This way I've been able to really drink them in: aaaah!

Submitted by Kelaidis on Fri, 05/28/2010 - 23:42

Probably the last frit to bloom this year, this one in the Rock Alpine Garden: I have not had luck with F. camtchatensis, although i tried it many times. Always in a boggy spot or much competition...Trust Mike Kintgen, who cares for this garden now, to have found a perfect spot for to find a similar spot in my home garden!

Submitted by Hoy on Sat, 05/29/2010 - 01:44

This frit grows very well here - until the slugs find it! I have had it several times and you can bet on it, if the slugs haven't found it before they'll find it when in full bloom! The next day all you find is a slimy mess.

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 04/30/2011 - 08:57

A few Frits to share, the first to bloom is always F. pudica. I find it perfectly easy to grow in a reasonable well-drained loam, likes fun sun, but is growing at the base of a shrub where I think the bulbs stay dry and cooler in summer.  They have been in bloom for 2 weeks, just finishing up now and aging to a dim orange color, brightened up with scarlet lily beetles that find the plants just as the flowers fade.  I keep a small glass jar handy, and hand-pick these beasties.

Among the most reliable and charming, is F. crassifolia ssp. kurdica, only a few inches tall, with tubby waxy bells.  I have it growing in two spots, about 6 yards apart, this particular small patch always flowers well, the other planting never blooms and grows about 1/3rd the size; I believe differing soil conditions are to blame. This illustrates the importance of trying plants in different spots in the garden, it is amazing how plants can react so differently depending on microclimate.

The last is F. carica, a tiny sweet little thing, rather reminiscent of F. sibthorpiana which makes me wonder about the ID of my plants.  It is only 2-4" in flower.  Here again, in one spot is does not increase, and manages to sputter forth 1-2 tiny pale greenish yellow flared thimbles.  I tried planting some in a different location, in sandy soil, and the small clump is already much larger and spreading, with lots of small sprouting leaves at the periphery (is it stoloniferous?).  I'd like to have a larger patch of this miniature species.

Submitted by WimB on Tue, 05/03/2011 - 06:50

A Frit. flowering here this week:

Fritillaria affinis

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 05/07/2011 - 20:47

All that I see here in this topic is satisfying, so many frits, so little time ;)  I like em all, no discrimination, I wish Lily Beetle didn't like as much as I do.  I keep a small glass jar in the garden, the receptacle of demise for hand-picked red lily beetles whenever I see them.

Here's a tiny sweetie at first time bloom, F. eastwoodiae from Northern California.  My sole little bulb came from Jane McGary in 2005, and this year it finally flowered, and I'm delighted to see the little orange thimble blooms with rolled-back petal edges.  After 6 years, it was worth the wait!

To give some sense of scale, in the following view we see a dark maroon-purple F. meleagris on the left, the petite F. eastwoodiae in the center, and on the right is Tulipa vvedenskyi from Mary Sue Ittner, perhaps my favorite tulip species.  These all grow under a Fringe Tree, Chionanthus virginicus, which is tap-rooted and very late to leaf out, thus a good tree to underplant with spring bulbs.

Submitted by Mark McD on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 05:11

Another view of Fritillaria eastwoodiae, on a fine sunny day, 6 years to flowers from a small bulb.

Submitted by Hoy on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 05:12

Although we have lily beetles at my summerhouse and they can destroy lilies in a few days. But I would prefere lily beetles to slugs anytime!

Submitted by Hoy on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 05:16

McDonough wrote:

Another view of Fritillaria eastwoodiae, on a fine sunny day, 6 years to flowers from a small bulb.

This species is a nice one! I am tempted to try some of the North American species now. Maybe at my summerhouse where lily beetles and deer are the enemies and not slugs!

Submitted by Weiser on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 15:19

Here is a tiny Western North American native, rarely incounter in gardens. The flowers are 1/2-3/4 of an inch (1.25cm-1.90cm)across.
Fritillaria atropurpurea

Submitted by Hoy on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 15:24

Very nice, John!

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 07:56

Weiser wrote:

Here is a tiny Western North American native, rarely incounter in gardens. The flowers are 1/2-3/4 of an inch (1.25cm-1.90cm)across.
Fritillaria atropurpurea

John, an entrancing little native Frit.  After the S L O W success of F. eastwoodiae, I'm encouraged to try more native Fritillaria species.  What sort of conditions does F. atropurpurea enjoy?  Google and CalPhotos reveal that the flowers can come in a number of shades, but always with strong spotting; it also comes from a wide geographical area, which gives encouragement that the species would be hardy if tried here.

USDA plant profile


Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 08:04

Some brooding images of Fritillaria unibracteata currently in bloom, a plant I received from my one and only order to Chen Yi years ago, and out of that order, THE ONLY plant actually correctly identified.  Based on my query on SRGC, I'm trusting Janis Ruksans' opinion that the plant is correctly identified.

This species seems reliable, very slow growing, stems to about 6-8" tall, enjoying life at the base of a shrub, thus mostly shaded.  The situation tends to be very dry in summer.

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 05/21/2011 - 22:29

McDonough wrote:

Another view of Fritillaria eastwoodiae, on a fine sunny day, 6 years to flowers from a small bulb.

6 years?!?  Yikes, not for those who like instant gratification!  Alas, such a pretty thing though... (that I will therefore never see in my own garden.  ;D)

Another very interesting little frit, John.

F. unibracteata - what a colour!  After your drought, it seems it must be very tolerant of dry conditions indeed.

Representing the other end of the scale in fritillaria culture...  ;)
Tonight, I discovered one little F. michailovskyii that somehow survived from many years ago.  Thhey seemed to have died out, when I built a new bed and changed the drainage (or at least I thought that was why  ???).

Submitted by Weiser on Sun, 05/22/2011 - 20:53

McDonough wrote:

[What sort of conditions does F. atropurpurea enjoy? 

Mark I find it growing on the dry north facing steep slopes at lower elevations of 4,000'-6,000'. Higher up 6,000'-9,000' it can be found in sunny sights on gental slopes of clay or loam, with east or west exposures. The Key seems to be fine mineral soils that are venally moist but dry during summer dormancy. I think the lower elevation populations occur on the north slopes because they retain moisture for a longer period.

Submitted by Lori S. on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 21:42

Some easy ones...  ;)
Fritillaria pallidiflora:

Fritillaria meleagris 'Alba', a twin!

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 06/20/2011 - 22:38

Skulski wrote:

Does this mean my fritillaria jinx is over... ?   :o

I'd say so, Lori.  Especially since the two you have need different care.  Your "whatever it is" one is especially nice!  My last F. camschatcensis finished blooming last week.