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Monday, April 20, 2009

Fritillaria Rubra Maximus

This is a website that I love to get plant information and where I got the family, genus, species and cultivar information.

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Fritillaria (frit-il-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: imperialis (im-peer-ee-AL-is) (Info)
Cultivar: Rubra Maxima

I have included an article that was online for more general information!
Fritillarias–Spring-blooming Bulbs of Legend and Lore
Plants & Gardens News Volume 16, Number 1 Spring 2001
by Scott D. Appell
The fritillaria is steeped in legend and lore. Many plant historians believe it to be the actual flower referred to in the myth of Hyacinthus, the Spartan prince beloved but accidentally killed by Apollo. (Apparently, the plant that botanists originally linked to the tale—the hyacinth—is not native to Greece at all. Oops!)
The stately Fritillaria imperialis, or crown imperial, with its crown-like tufts of foliage and nodding, nectar-laden orange to yellow flowers, is known in Farsi (the language of Iraq) as the "Tears of Mary." Christian tradition recalls that of all the flowers, only the proud crown imperial refused to bow its head during the Crucifixion. As a consequence, it has "bowed" and "wept" ever since.
Last fall in my attempts to find a bulb that the groundhogs DO NOT like, I came across this beauty. It is not cheap. The bulbs are large... almost the size of an onion! And parts of it are not to be ingested.... that said... we had success this spring! Here are my pictures of the plants. First pre-bloom:
The flowers have a slight musky odor and have done okay along the wall at the flagpole. Next year, I think I will stake the plants up as that the wind does unkind things to the plants.

Here it is in bloom:

Happy Gardening!

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