Early-flowering Fritillaria species and their hardiness

Makiko Goto-Widerman makikogotowiderman@me.com
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 11:29:29 PDT
Hi Jane,
Long time before I saw a sign of  Fritillaria Festival in Jacksonville, OR. It was earlier season to see the flower. 
I heard that the particular wild Fritillaria blooms only in Jacksonville area.
Do you know what kind of Fritillaria?  



On Mar 8, 2014, at 1:00 PM, Jane McGary wrote:

> Guy wrote:
>> I am preparing a list of all the bulbs I experimented here, in 
>> alphabetical order. I have just passed letter F, anh had to confess 
>> I was very disappointed with them, but as you can imagine I would 
>> be ready to try again and again. I have got Fritillaria biflora 
>> from one BX, they grow well , in pot for the moment, and I also 
>> would like to try some more californian species, if possible to see 
>> if they stand better the climate we have here.
>>  So, may I ask you, according to your long experience with 
>> Fritillarias, in this case, which one I could or should try  here.
>>   Fritillaria imperialis of course, but aso F. persica, F. 
>> raddeana, etc ..failed here, for example.
>> Fritillarias are not moutain plants , do they all need cold ( we had 
>> no frost this year, for example ) or constant humidity when growing?
> The genus Fritillaria inhabits many different kinds of habitats in 
> Europe, Asia, and North America. The species Guy mentions, 
> Fritillaria biflora, is native to California but has a large range, 
> and different forms can be grown well in different areas of the UK, 
> Europe, and North America. If you grow it in a pot, it should be a 
> deep pot. Another American species that has a very wide range in both 
> latitude and elevation is Fritillaria affinis, which is available in 
> Europe (I think) in a handsome sterile triploid form called 'Wayne 
> Roderick' or "tristulis". I don't know what the cold requirements in 
> the genus are, because we always have some frost in winter where I 
> live. Some people think Fritillaria striata is a warm grower, but it 
> occurs in the mountains where winters are frosty.  I believe some 
> growers in the UK grow Fritillaria species in alpine houses that are 
> kept above the freezing point. I have never kept them in a heated 
> frame or house.
> As for their moisture requirements (I think that is what Guy means by 
> "humidity" -- moisture in the soil, not in the air), most of them 
> flower at the time of the greatest soil moisture, but the alpine 
> species would experience a dry dormancy under snow. Alpine bulbs and 
> those from the far north are typically more difficult to grow well in 
> snow-free, lowland areas such as mine. Some Fritillaria species, such 
> as Fritillaria pluriflora in California and Fritillaria meleagris in 
> Europe, are in very wet conditions at their time of flowering; the 
> former's habitat dries up in summer, but I think meleagris always 
> needs some moisture, which makes it a good choice for the irrigated 
> border or summer-rainfall areas. Some species tolerate very dry soil 
> conditions in summer, as long as they are planted deep enough. I have 
> a dry and a moist bed in my bulb house and both beds contain many 
> Fritillaria species whose native habitats I have studied before planting them.
> Guy should not give up on the species that failed for him. If he 
> bought them as bulbs, they may have been stored too dry or otherwise 
> treated badly. I have never grown purchased Fritillaria imperialis 
> bulbs successfully, but I have good seed-grown plants of that 
> species. (They do take a long time to flower from seed.)
> Good luck!
> Jane McGary
> Portland, Oregon, USA
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