The one Fritillaria imperialis which survived here for nearly twenty years (and bloomed regularly during the last seven or eight of those years) grew on the south side of a thirty year old Fagus sylvatica which was about fifty feet tall and had a spread of perhaps thirty feet. . The Fritillaria grew about five or six feet from the trunk of the tree. The beech in question is a purple leaf beech, and once it leafed out it cast a powerful shade. Each year, the Fritillaria responded to the beech leaf out by becoming paler and wider in leaf. I've long suspected that once the beech leafed out, it kept the area relatively dry. Also, a quantity of lime had been dumped in that area years before the frit was planted. Jim McKenney Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Calochortus 'Cupid' began to bloom yesterday.