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Fritillaria imperialis - L.

Common Name Crown Imperial, Imperial fritillary, Crown Imperial Fritillary
Family Liliaceae
USDA hardiness 7-9
Known Hazards The bulb is poisonous raw[4, 114], it contains low concentrations of a toxic alkaloid[163, 240].
Habitats Cliffs, rocky slopes and amongst scrub, 1000 - 3000 metres in Turkey[90]. On humus rich soils, usually in gullies and shaded sides of large rocks, 1800 - 2600 metres in Kashmir[145].
Range W. Asia - W. Himalayas, Turkey and Iran.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Fritillaria imperialis Crown Imperial, Imperial fritillary, Crown Imperial Fritillary


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:KhamtranFritillaria meleagris
Fritillaria imperialis Crown Imperial, Imperial fritillary, Crown Imperial Fritillary

 

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Summary

Bloom Color: Orange,Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Fritillaria imperialis is a BULB growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.3 m (1ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in April, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - cooked[114]. A minor source of starch[4, 105, 177]. Some caution is advised since there are reports of toxicity.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diuretic  Emollient  Galactogogue  Resolvent

The bulb is diuretic, emollient and resolvent[240]. It is also a cardiac poison[240]. It has been used as an expectorant and also to encourage increased breast milk production[254]. The fresh plant contains the toxic alkaloid 'imperialine'[240].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Massing, Seashore, Specimen, Woodland garden. Easily grown in a moderately fertile soil[90]. Prefers a heavy soil without any disturbance, not even hoeing[1, 42]. Requires a well-drained soil and a sunny position[42, 90, 200] or the shade of deciduous trees or shrubs[90]. Succeeds in drier soils and is drought tolerant once established[190]. Plants succeed in most fertile soils, avoiding pure chalk, heavy clay and boggy sites[233]. The dormant bulbs are very hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least -10°c[214]. A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties[233]. The flowers smell of wet fur and garlic[245]. Bulbs should be planted 10 - 12 cm deep in July[1] on their side with sharp sand beneath them to ensure that they do not rot[42, 200]. Special Features: Attractive foliage.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[1]. Protect from frost[134]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate[134]. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 - 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August[1]. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales[163].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Fritillaria affinisChocolate Lily, Checker lilyBulb0.6 4-8  LMSNM300
Fritillaria atropurpureaPurple Fritillary, Spotted fritillaryBulb0.6 4-8  LMSNDM21 
Fritillaria camschatcensisKamchatka Lily, Kamchatka fritillaryBulb0.5 4-8  LMSNM40 
Fritillaria cirrhosaChuan Bei MuBulb0.5 4-8  LMSNM23 
Fritillaria meleagrisSnakehead Fritillary, Chequered lily, Checkered FritillaryBulb0.3 3-7 MLMHSNM01 
Fritillaria pallidifloraPale-Flowered FritillaryBulb0.6 3-7  LMSNM03 
Fritillaria pudicaYellow FritillaryBulb0.2 3-7  LMSNDM30 
Fritillaria roylei Bulb0.6 4-8  LMSNM02 
Fritillaria sewerzowii Bulb0.3 4-8  LMSNDM01 
Fritillaria thunbergiiZhe Bei MuBulb0.6 7-10  LMSNM23 
Fritillaria verticillata Bulb0.6 4-8  LMSNDM23 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

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Botanical References

145200

Links / References

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Readers comment

sarah hurley   Sun Mar 2 2008

Have grown these bulbs for 40 years, splitting clumps occasionally and had 150 blooms one year. This year no yellow ones, and only a few orange, rest blind. Help would be appreciated. Sarah Hurley

sophie dixon   Sun Sep 28 2008

I live in Zone 5, can the bulbs be stored indoors during the winter, and any suggestions for storage. Thank you

david nicholls   Mon Sep 29 2008

According to the "Botanica" (a book) Fritillaria imperialis is suited to zones 4-9 (zone 4 is -34 to -29 Celcius or -30 to -20 F). So it should be ok outside, I'd experiment with some of them outside. It is even possible it won't like being stored inside since it's upper favored level is zone 9, still below freezing in winter. I have no personal experience with this particular plant.

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