Family: Liliaceae

Scientific Name: Fritillaria imperialis lutea

Common Name: Fritillaria lutea

DescriptionA bright yellow flower sits atop of a 36" stem.
Plant TypeBulbs, corms, tubers, rhizoms, etc.
Hardiness Zone5
Soil & SiteSome sources list the soil requirements as rich well drained others as well drained and rather poor. In my experience the well drained aspect seems to be the most important. Planting in water logged soils will lessen the chances for success.
FlowersA cluster of pendant yellow flowers are found near the top of the plant. Tear-like drops of nectar form at the tips of edges of the petals. Flowers have a musky smell but don’t seem to be bothersome unless you stick your nose in the flower or a light breeze wafts the smell away from the flower
LeavesThe plant forms a single stalk. The bottom half is surrounded with whorls of glossy, strap-like leaves. The stem is bare above the leaves until it merges with the cluster of pendant flowers. The flowers are topped with a cluster of pineapple-like leaves. In the early spring the tip emerges as a bronze colored spear.
StemsBulbs are large, with scales and somewhat smelly. The smell maybe an evolutionary trait to keep away pests. Stem is bare above the leaves until it merges with the cluster of pendant flowers
DimensionsThe plants reach 24"-36" and should be planted 8" deep 2 bulbs per square foot. Plant a drift of 3 bulbs 10"-12" on center for an imposing display. This is a rather expensive bulb but well worth the cost.
Native SiteNative to Asia and the Middle East.
Cultivar OriginIntroduced to Europe in 1554 by Ogier Chiselin de Busbeccq. He also is credited with the introduction of tulips. Many of the cultivars we use today first appeared in the trade around the middle 1600's
Misc Facts(syn F. flava)
Notes & Reference#57-Spring Flowering Bulbs (Dr. A.A. DeHertogh), #59-Naturalizing Bulbs (Rob Proctor), #60-The American Gardeners World of Bulbs (Judy Glattstein)
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