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Friday, May 25, 2007

Fritillaria imperialis


Subkingdom Tracheobionta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Liliopsida
Subclass Liliidae
Order Liliales
Family Liliaceae
Genus Fritillaria L.
Species Fritillaria imperialis L.

Fritillaria imperialis, common name: Imperial crown or Fritilaria, has brightly colored, showy clusters of flowers.

Fritillaria is a genus of about 100 species of bulbous plants in the family Liliaceae, native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. They often have nodding, bell- or cup-shaped flowers, and the majority are spring-flowering. The name is from Latin fritillus, a dice-box, and probably refers to the checkered pattern, frequently of chocolate-brown and greenish yellow, that is common to many species' flowers.

Several species (such as Fritillaria cirrhosa and Fritillaria verticillata) are used in traditional Chinese cough remedies. They are listed as chuan bei (Chinese: 川貝) or zhe bei (Chinese: 浙貝), respectively, and are often in formulations combined with extracts of loquat.

The Crown imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) is a member of the genus Fritillaria, family Liliaceae. It is native to Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey and the Himalaya region. It is one of the earliest plants to be cultivated. It grows to about 1 meter (3 feet) in height, and bears lance shaped, glossy leaves, at intervals along the stem. It bears a prominent whorl of downward facing flowers at the top of the stem. The flower whorl is topped by a 'crown' of small leaves, hence the name. While the wild form is usually red flowered, various colours are found in cultivation, ranging through the reds, oranges, and yellows.

The pendulous flowers make a bold statement in the garden and the odor scares away mice, moles, and other rodents. In the northern hemisphere, flowering takes place in late April or May. Due to the way that the bulb is formed, it is best to plant it on its side, to prevent water causing rot in the depression at the top of the bulb. Fritillaria requires full sun for best growth. After flowering and complete drying of the leaves, the stems should be cut off just above the ground.

Fast Facts
  • Origin: it grows from Turkey to the Himalayas.
  • Habitat: the Fritillaria sort is of wild rocky hill land form next to the Mediterranean coast.
  • In gardening they are cultivated in the outside, like solitary flowers or forming small pebbles groups, under shrubs or as borduras in pools.
  • The imperial Crown continues being popular thanks to its imposing presence: a high plant (80-100 cm) with short chalices of orange, yellow flowers péndulas or red, underneath a crown of brácteas.
  • Light: it does not like to be to total sun, but in average shade.
  • Temperatures: it prefers a warm location.
  • Permeable and rich Ground in humus.

See more photos and notes from Botany Photo Of the Day



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