Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fritillaria michailovskyi

I'm a bit late getting this post up, as these little ones have already done their thing and moved on for the season ... if you're a regular reader you'll recall I was lamenting the non-appearance of our larger Crown Imperial Frtilliarias back in April. But our dwindling, if faithful, colony of Fritillaria michailovskyi (for some scant growing information go here) did manage to put on a nice little show this year.

These examples have been where they are for at least six or so years, and haven't naturalized to the extent we would have liked, but they're going to be moved over the course of the summer into a newly constructed bulb bed, where we hope they will be happier.

These fritillarias are pretty cold hardy, and people seem to plant them a lot in rock garden type spaces, though we prefer to just let them have their spot toward the front of the bed, where though not the splashiest of flowers, they do attract attention!

More diminutive than their larger cousins the Crown Imperials, these fritillarias originally native to Turkey and Iran definitely deserve their place in the serious bulb collector's garden where they make a perfect complement to the Snowdrops (Galanthus) who usually precede them by a couple of weeks. Again this year was an exception and they appeared later, but we were just happy to see them return! If you're interested in a good source for these, and other fritillarias, the following link will take you to a good supplier who has a lot of great species (at reasonable prices too).


Family Man said...


I don't think I've ever seen that flower before. For some reason I feel like there should be little elfs or something flying around them.

Great shots IVG.

FARfetched said...

That's cool. Looks like an East European dress, or maybe a dome tent.

olivia said...

And the name is super kewl ... fritillarias ... :)

Beautiful flowers w/ a kewl name ... :)

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey there FM, Far and Ms. O ... glad you like this one. FM, I'll have to ask Ferny about it but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if people do plant these in fairy gardens (such things do exist you know!), so I'll see what I can find out, but the observation is indeed apt!

Far, I've always thought they looked like antique lampshades, but your analogies are certainly good ones too ... that probably just reveals my secret passion for lampshades more than anything else, but whatever image they summon up, they certainly are unusual and gorgeous flowers.

Olivia, you might want to research these a bit because there are positively dozens of species that are actually hardy to our zones even if they originated in warmer climates where they tend to grow in rocky, mountainous terrain (see the Crown Imperial persica pictured elsewhere here for an example). We are definitely buying some of these in bulk this fall along with some other species from that company I linked to ... they specialize in a lot of the harder to find species and have a just fantastic selection of bulbs in general!

FARfetched said...

Heh, lampshades... I guess I'm one of those louts who don't give them much thought. They diffuse light, they're (optionally) decorative, and you can wear one if you get drunk enough. ;-)