A hardiness note - Frit persica

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Tue, 31 Mar 2009 10:14:20 PDT
Jim Waddick wrote,

At 06:36 AM 3/31/2009, you wrote:
>Dear friends,
>         I just want to pass a long a note about the surprising
>hardiness of Fritillaria persica here.  ...
>         2 days ago we had 4 inches of wet heavy snow and the temps
>drop to somewhere around 24 to 26 F.  When I trudged out through the
>snow the Frits had formed a perfect 180 degree arch with the top of
>the flowering stem touching the snow and the regularly pendant flower
>facing straight up. And frozen solid.
>         Today with 2 days of 40 and 50 degrees, ample sunshine and
>light breezes, the plants are all perfectly upright, flowers pendant
>and foliage undamaged.

Fritillaria persica has an extensive range in the wild and different 
forms seem to be more or less cold-hardy. I find here that the 
'Adiyaman' type with very large purple flowers does best in the bulb 
frame,. but the form widely available from Dutch sources, which has 
smaller, purplish-brown flowers, is a long-lived garden plant in a 
warm position. Right now I see the first flowers on seedlings grown 
from the Archibalds' Iranian collection, and all are yellowish cream. 
I don't know how large the plants will be at maturity. They're in the 
bulb frame.

Frits (and hellebores) do have this habit of bending over in bad 
weather and then standing back up. In addition, many frits have a 
flowering stem that stays very curved, with the bud near ground 
level, until the flower is just about to open. I think this must 
offer some protection against grazing animals.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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