A genus of about 100 species and they can be found distributed over the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere in a similar manner to Liliums. They come in a wide range of colours and have either nodding or bell-shaped blooms, with some North American species resembling small lilies. Flowering through the Spring stems can vary from 10cm to 1 metre, with the average range being 30-40cm. They require a cool, well drained situation protected from hot afternoon sun. If your soil is heavy add some coarse sand and leaf mould to improve drainage. Incorporate some complete fertiliser, a little blood and bone and lime prior to planting. Normal Spring rains are usually adequate but if season is dry a weekly water is beneficial. They prefer to be kept on the dry side when dormant so plant where they can avoid your Summer water.
The most sort after of all Fritillaria is the ‘Crown Imperial’ F.imperialis for its majestic beauty.
A Dutch carol from the 17th century “The Crown Imperial bloometh too in yonder place; Tis Charity of Stock divine, the flower of Grace” eludes to its charm.
Available January to March