The fringe on top is said to resemble a crown; it is for this reason that the common name for Fritillaria imperialis is "Crown Imperial".
Another impressive feature is that they can grow to be 5 feet (1.5 m) tall! They are very showy; you are guaranteed to get questions from every passer-by. They are also much appreciated for the fact that deer and rodents do not like to eat them.
The bad news: they may have an unpleasant odor. Just make sure you plant them where they can be seen, but not smelled.
|Plant height:||3 - 5 feet (0.9 - 1.5 m)|
|Minimum planting depth:||6" (15 cm)|
|Hardiness zones:||With mulch: suitable for zones 4 - 7; without mulch: zones 8 - 11|
|Colours:||Yellow, orange, and red|
|Shape/form:||Tall strong stem supports a circle of pendant, bell-shaped flowers, topped off with a tuft of leaves.|
|Alternate names:||Crown Imperial, Crown Imperial Lily, Stink Lily|
Latin name: Fritillaria imperialis
Can be tricky to grow: absolutely essential to provide excellent drainage; plant on a bed of gravel, and surround with lots of sand. Alternatively, angle each bulb sideways to keep water from collecting in the depression at the top of the bulb.|
Soil should be alkaline, and enriched with organic matter (humus).
Will grow in full sun or light shade; needs summer days with high heat.
Water well in spring; do not water in summer. Protect from wind.
Plant in beds or rock gardens. Once established, bulbs should be left undisturbed.
|Example varieties:||Rubra (orange-red, with purple veins), Aureomarginata (same as 'Rubra', but has creamy-yellow-edged leaves), Prolifera (same as 'Rubra', but has two rings of pendant flowers; sometimes called 'Double Crown Fritillaria'), Premier (soft orange), Lutea (yellow), Maxima Lutea (large yellow flowers), Aurora (reddish orange), Slagzwaard (deep orange), William Rex (bronze-red)|
|Aurora|| Aureomarginata (leaves)
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Fritillaria imperialis: Crown Imperial | Fritillaria meleagris: Checkered Lily | Fritillaria persica: Persian Bells
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Last modified: October 12, 2008