Fritillaria imperialis

Jane McGary
Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:25:01 PDT
I have had success sowing seed of Fritillaria imperialis in autumn, 
after dry storage at room temperature after harvesting it. However, 
perhaps Uli's "particularly large" form is a triploid. Triploid 
Fritillaria are known, for example in populations of Fritillaria affinis 
in the region around San Francisco Bay. They have unusually large 
flowers and are sterile. Fertile seeds will have a visible embryo, 
though in F. imperialis the seeds are quite thick and it may be harder 
to see the embryo. In addition, Fritillaria seem to be self-sterile, so 
if Uli is self-pollinating his special plant, fertile seeds will not 
form. Another problem with getting fertile seed of this species may be 
flowering during a time when temperatures are too cold for effective 

I grew my F. imperialis plants from seed of yellow-flowered plants, but 
so far all of mine have typical orange flowers, which must be dominant 
and reflect the pollen parents.

Jane McGary

Portland, Oregon, USA

On 3/27/2017 1:42 PM, Johannes Ulrich Urban wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> Having sown seed of a particularly large form of F. imperialis 
>> several times without success I wonder how your experience is with 
>> this plant. I have tried several different ways: sowing fresh seed 
>> immediately after ripening, sowing dried seed in autumn, keeping the 
>> seedpot either in the garden or greenhouse during winter. The mother 
>> bulb is about to flower but again not a single seed has germinated. I 
>> opened some fresh seeds before sowing, they were all thick, fleshy 
>> and white inside, not empty shells.
>> Where is my mistake? Is it perhaps a sterile clone? Do they need a 
>> special treatment to break a prolonged dormancy? The seeds now feel 
>> empty and dead to the touch.
>> Any advice is appreciated.

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