Sunday, April 26, 2009
Fritillaria Meleagris - Snake's Head Fritillaria
One of my favorite springflowering bulbs is Fritillaria Meleagris. Their nodding chequered Purple-brownish elegant flowers are fascinating. For some years I bought bulbs and planted them in the fall. But come spring I never saw any of them? I wondered what I did wrong, until I read that they prefer acidic moist soil. So I mixed plenty of peat moss in the soil where I planted some new bulbs. The next year a few bloomed and the following year even more bloomed in small groups. I love them - only thing I dislike about them is that they seem to attract red lily beetles - I hate those since I try to grow lilies - with not much succes yet. You can see the traces left by beetles munching on the thin leaves in this picure:
I had also noticed another Fritillaria in some gardens around here - Fritillaria persica. The very large orange sized bulbs produce upright 2-3 feet tall flowerstalks with purple-brownish bell-shaped flowers:
I planted the bulbs in the fall, a place with very well drained soil and where they get plenty of sun - as recommended. I saw them shooting in March and looked forward to seeing them blooming. But no - they only produced foot tall stalks, with blind shoots? I wonder why they did not bloom? Perhaps they just need to get settled in and will bloom next year?