Plant of the Month for July 2021

Fritillaria pudica
Fritillaria pudica

Description and General Information:

Fritillaria pudica have scaly bulbs that, when of sufficient size, produce stems 10-25 cm tall. Smaller bulbs produce just a solitary, stakeless leaf while larger bulbs have flower stems with a pair or whorl of linear leaves and a terminal, solitary, nodding 2 cm long yellow, bell-like flower. Plants often form small colonies of bulbs but only a limited number will be large enough to produce flowers. The flowers often turn orange to reddish as they age. The plant is native from southern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta, south to northern California (east of the Cascades), Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Its habitats includes rocky grasslands, sagebrush-steppe, ponderosa pine and open, mixed coniferous forest at low to mid-elevations.

Cultivation:

This species requires excellent drainage and full sun to part shade. It is difficult to grow outside of its native range as they need to be "baked" during the dormant season. They are also susceptible to being eaten by rodents, slugs and snails. Some success may be had in the east if growing under alpine house conditions. Very drought-tolerant. It is hardy to zone 4.

Blooming Period:

Blooming commences in March is the southern part of its natural range, to as late as June in the north.

Propagation:

Seed, division

Seeds:

Sow the seeds in pots the fall, they will germinate in the spring. Leave the bulbs in their pots for several years before moving to the open garden.

Division:

Larger colonies of bulbs may be dug and divided but only rarely do colonies grow to a sufficient size to allow this. Ideally it is better to let them stay as a larger colony.

Cuttings:

N/A

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