is a genus of bulbous plants in family Liliaceae, comprising about 100 species. It is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The common names are Fritillaries and Missionbells (used for some North American species). The genus name is derived from the Latin term fritillus which means dice-box, and probably refers to the checkered patterns on the flowers which normally come in chocolate-brown and greenish-yellow colors.
Fritillaria bears nodding, bell-shaped or cup-shaped flowers in spring. The flowers come in various colors like white, pink, purple, yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-green, brown-purple and dark-blue.
or Kaiser's Crown can grows to about 1m, bears prominent whorl of downward facing flowers at the top of the stem, topped by a crown of small leaves, hence its name. It is native to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Himalayan regions. Flowers of the wild form are usually orange-red, while the cultivation ones are in various striking colors ranging from true scarlet through orange and yellow. Flowering takes place in late april to May, accompanied by a distintly foxy odour that repels mice, moles and other rodents.
Plant Fritillaria in full sun, fertile and well-drained soil. After flowering and complete drying of leaves, the stems should be cut off just above the ground. They are good in containers and at borders. Propagation is by seed in autumn and offsets in late summer. Pests are Scarlet Lily Beetle, slugs and snails.
Michael "Mike" L. Baird