Fritillaria persica

Jane McGary
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 19:25:02 PDT
Adam asked,

>And apropos of this, perhaps-- does anybody have bulbs of Fritillaria
>persica that they've personally bloomed which are not stunted without
>flowers.  I've now bought bulbs for 5 years (from different dealers) hoping
>to get another plant of "Adiyaman" which I had-- that bloomed reliably every
>year (36 years ago) and apparently can no longer obtain even at a price of
>$6.95 each.

I don't know whether the commercial stock of Fritillaria persica sold 
as 'Adiyaman' (they are all sold under that name, but many are far 
from it) is diseased, but I have long suspected that Fritillaria 
imperialis bulbs in commerce are infected with virus that causes 
stunting and eventual death.

I was fortunate to obtain the true 'Adiyaman' form around 1986. I 
planted it in the garden, where it survived only about 5 years (it is 
not very cold-hardy and we had an epochal cold snap in 1990), but I 
had saved seed from it and grew seedlings identical to the parent 
plants, which I still have. They do not offset much at all (I 
understand that they can be propagated by slicing the bulb 
horizontally and replanting it, but I haven't tried this). They 
flower well in the bulb frame, where I put them after the experience 
with the parent plants.

In the garden I have some Dutch commercial F. persica that flower 
every year and have offset a little, planted at the base of a 
west-facing stone retaining wall. The flowers are about half the size 
of 'Adiyaman' and not as dark purple -- more brownish. I have 
seedlings of the Petra (Jordan) population, from the exchange of the 
AGS Fritillaria Group, that have not yet flowered; and seedlings 
grown from Jim and Jenny Archibald's collection in Iran some years 
ago, which are beginning to flower. The latter are white, like the 
form 'Ivory Bells' that is sold at great price. I bought a couple 
'Ivory Bells' but they never even emerged. Phooey on them -- I have 
my own now, and quite healthy.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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