The appearance of the Fritillaria Meleagris I find rather unusual. Last year the blooms opened on the second day of April.
This Spring, it was the very end of April before the flowers opened, confirming the suggestion by others that the long Winter did indeed put us a good three weeks and more behind.
However, none of our Spring plants have suffered as a result of this, in fact if anything they seem to have emerged more robust and eye catching than is usual.
As much as we have always been fond of the Fritillaria Meleagris it has always seemed like a plant difficult to place.
A couple of years ago we decided to turn a couple of borders in the back garden into Heather beds.
One of these borders is visible from our kitchen window, bedded up with Heathers, two dwarf Azaleas and three Box Pyramids. We felt we could add a little extra interest in Spring by planting some bulbs giving us blooms popping up through the Heather. The problem was going to be messy foliage looking untidy and spoiling the appearance of the heather.
Well, I think the decision to plant Fritillaria Meleagris has been just ideal. I can hardly imagine that they are a typical example of a companion to Heather, but yet something looks just right about it, and the thin wiry stems of this Fritillaria soon die back after flowering, leaving the Heather beds to get on with what they do best.
At this stage, whilst writing my post, I haven’t as yet taken a long shot of the border in question, I will do this tomorrow. I have a feeling that the Fritillaria may not show up as well as I may hope, I will take a few shots and see how it goes.
I reckon you are more likely to see this British wildflower growing in gardens, the combination of simplicity yet charm is likely to make you want to examine this treasure at close quarters.
The nodding, various shades of purple bell shaped flowers are individually marked in a checked pattern. Meleagris also comes in shades of creamy white.
The grey/green leaves are very narrow and the single bloom is carried on a strong wiry stem about 30cm tall. I say single bloom but occasionally you will come across those which carry two flowers per stem.
Fritillaria are more often seen in woodland gardens, a position where I expect the majority of gardeners would have them.
Blooming in Spring, another fully hardy bulbous perennial that is fully hardy for the gardener in Scotland.
• Position – Full sun/partial shade
• Height – 30cm/12″
• Soil – well draining humus rich
*** Fritillaria meleagris ***
Another Fritillaria which we do have, and in the woodland area of our garden is, (Fritillaria Pyrenaica) Flowers much at the same time as Meleagris, blooms are a little larger and have more of a cultivated appearance. This one was purchased in the green over ten years ago. A nice little clump of them, last year for the first time they seemed to be weakening, but for whatever reason this year the clump is looking much stronger again.
I am unable to find a supplier for this one.
I just received a link from Helene with this link to Rare Plants. So many unusual Fritillaria.
I Have to say this one below Pallidiflora is quite outstanding. As yet it is not in our own garden, however it is an absolute must for our woodland area. I took these shots of Pallidiflora on a visit to Crathes in April of last year. The yellow flower heads with green stripes are considerably larger than the other two Fritillaries displayed above.
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Position – shade/part shade
Height – 30cm/12″
The long Winter held plant growth back,everything came on in leaps and bounds in the first week of May. Pictures below show the garden looking a lot happier.
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