Fritillaria pontica

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 03 Nov 2009 10:02:06 PST
I've mostly given up trying to grow Fritillaria since I don't have 
continuing success with this genus even though I have gotten some 
species to bloom from seed. So many other things are so much more 
reliable for me. I have enough success that I don't need to succeed 
with everything. However, one species that has bloomed more than one 
year from seed is F. pontica. I have two surviving versions, one from 
NARGS seed labeled ssp substipelata and another F. pontica from the 
BX and Rob Hamilton. Since we don't have photos on the wiki of this 
species I was going to add some of our photos, but as so often is the 
case ran into some questions so hopefully some of you Fritillaria 
experts like Jane will help out. I looked through some of the 
previous posts and found a number of people are successful growing this one.

First, Mark McDonough added pictures to the wiki of some he purchased 
from Dutch growers that he thought were something else since the 
descriptions he looked up said this frit is green. His photos are here:…
One of my Brian Mathew books describe this species as often having a 
warm brownish suffusion, especially on the apex and margins of the 
segments. This is true of my plants and the picture on Plate 1 of the 
Pratt and Jefferson-Brown book shows brown coloring of this species too.

When I looked on Kew to see if they were accepting Fritillaria 
pontica ssp substipelata, I found that it was now considered 
Fritillaria theophrasti Kamari & Phitos, Biol. Gallo-Hellen. 
26(Suppl.): 70 (2000). That left me wondering what to consider my 
seed grown plants labeled as ssp. substipelata. The Pratt and 
Jefferson-Brown book lists the subspecies as found on a Greek Island 
and having thinner leaves and taller stems and being covered in a 
silvery-grey bloom on the outside whatever that means. Mine also show 
brown markings. Inside the book says the petals have a deep red patch 
at the petal tips. Unfortunately when my husband took pictures of the 
insides of both, the photos didn't get marked as which was which. 
There is red inside both, but not at the spot I'd call a tip. I'm 
tempted to label all my pictures F. pontica which would solve the 
subspecies dilemma. Any advice?


Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

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