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Fritillaria

Fritillaria flowers look like guinea hen and are thus commonly known as the Guinea Hen Flowers. Other common names of Fritillaria include Snakes Head, Checkerd Lily, Sullen Lady, Leper's Bell.

fritilariaBelonging to the family of lilies, Fritilaria is a genus of popular, flowering heirloom bulbous plants with Purple-and-white-checked, bell-shaped flowers, bringing a unique charm to any early spring garden. The delicate flowers dangle from grass-like foliage.

Kingdom
Plantae
Division
Magnoliophyta
Class
Liliopsida
Order
Liliales
Family
Liliaceae
Genus
Fritillaria

The bell shaped flowers seem rather large for the plant. The flowers of Fritillaria are pendant, with a checked pattern on the petals. Fritillaria flowers come colors of deep purple to white. The narrow leaves are alternate and rather sparse. The petals have a characteristic checkered pattern. The Fritilaria bulbs have a pungent odor. The odor is a natural deterrent to rodents, making fritillaria a great choice for gardens. The plants are also resistant to deers.

Facts About Fritilaria

  • They were formerly known as Narcissus caperonius or Caperon's Narcissus because they were first brought to England in 1572 by a druggist named Noel Caperon who found them in France.
  • In Croatia, firtilaria flower is known as Kockavica and is part of the country's national symbol.
  • Occasionally attached to it is Snake's Head Frittillary or Snakehead Lily, because the blossom, before the bud is fully opened, reminds some of a striking cobra.
  • They are also known as Guinea Hen Flowers because the checkerboard pattern resembles the patterning on guinea hens.

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Growing Fritilarias

  • Fritillarias are one of the easiest flowering bulbs to grow since the bulbs multiply year after year.
  • Fritillarias are propagated by division of bulbs in autumn. Divide the bulbs in autumn and replant them immediately. Offshoots of the fritillaria bulbs are widely used to propagate these plants.
  • Fritillaria prefer a well-drained, loamy soil, but most any garden soil will do.
  • Fritillaria will tolerate full sun or part shade.
  • A lightly shaded and sheltered area is perfect for growing Fritilarias.
  • Plant the bulbs 4 to 5 inches deep and 6 inches apart at a slight angle so that water won't collect in the depression at the top of the bulb.
  • Keep in mind when you plan the garden design that fritillarias bloom simultaneously with tulips.

Fritilaria Plant Care

  • Fritillaria are relatively care free. They do not demand much care.
  • Remove the flower head after the blooms fade and before it goes to seed. Allow the foliage to wither naturally each year in order to replenish the bulbs for the following year's blooms.
  • Water the plant regularly and deeply in the spring until after it flowers, then withhold water in the summer.
  • Fritillaria is a good choice for areas with dry summers.
  • All fritilaria need plenty of fertilizer after they have bloomed to get them to re-bloom the following year.

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