Frits which don't bloom; was RE: What you've got blooming. hymenocallis

Jamie V.
Wed, 12 Apr 2006 14:00:44 PDT

according to an article in either The New Plantsman or The Garden, I 
can't remember which at this point, the forms F. imperialis rubra maxima 
and F. imp. lutea maxima are thought to be tetraploids.  They do not 
cross with other forms of the species.  Here, in Europe, there are quite 
a few clones of F. imperialis on the market, including, Kron in Kron, 
Fasciata, Aurora, etc.

I have tried various clones in various aspects and found the best result 
in well-drained, somewhat sandy soil.  In moister conditions, they grow 
well, but are shy to flower for me.  I get the impression that they 
require lots of sun in the growing season, but are fine under deciduous 
trees, etc. and benefit from a dryer season after blooming.  I attempt 
to apply some liquid feed during the growing season, which is very 
short.  Generally speaking, my garden has neutral to slightly alkaline 
soil, but from what I see, this is less important than too much moisture 
outside the growing season.

Despite the vagarities of growing conditions, I adore these flowers when 
they grace the garden.  F. persica is a much easier species for me and 
has actually clumped-up in a few sunny, well-drained spots, albeit, slowly.


Jamie V.

Jim McKenney schrieb:

>Recently I was Googling Fritillaria imperialis, and discovered something
>which may answer a long-standing question. There is a dealer who offers
>Fritillaria imperialis 'Rubra' , F. imperialis 'Rubra Maxima', F. imperialis
>'Lutea' and F. imperialis 'Lutea Maxima'. The dealer uses the same image for
>the two rubra sorts and the same image for the two lutea sorts. The only
>difference I could see was the bulb size: the sorts listed as maxima had
>bigger bulbs. Now that raises a question: do those names refer to distinct
>cultivars, or are they simply grower/distributor codes to indicate bulb
>I suspect that these plants need high pH (or at any rate, higher than we
>experience here) and cooler soil temperatures while the ground is moist.
>Success north and west of here seem more common. 
>However, I did have one plant of Fritillaria imperialis 'Aurora' settle down
>and thrive in the garden for a long time - maybe seventeen or more years. As
>I recall, it grew but did not bloom for about a decade. Then, when it began
>to bloom, it bloomed yearly. It was huge: four feet high with big individual
>flowers. And then one year it was no longer there. 
>Jim McKenney
>Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the great stink lily
>generally deigns not to thrive. 
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