Spring always brings surprises. Leaves that are normally green unfurl red, tight buds open to a flurry of petals and leaves, that which was hidden suddenly smiles at the sun. This is such a plant. This fritillaria seems almost tropical and out of place in our Northern land of daffodils and tulips. It reminds me of a pineapple or a palm tree. A disturber of the peace. A surprise! I saw it growing at the nursery in a display garden and it was a beautiful spring surprise. When I hear the word fritiallaria I usually think of the little checkered lily. They are intriguing and cute, but not as striking as the Fritillaria imperialis which seems to be the queen of the garden. I was curious as to where to buy this royal plant and found them at White Flower Farms, three bulbs for $33.95, shipped in the fall. What a nice birthday surprise for someone born in the spring!
Just the Facts
Fritillaria imperialis Crown Imperial
Height 3-4 ft. (1m)
Blooms April-May, Orange, Red or Yellow
Full Sun to Part Shade
Native to SW Asia