THE PERSIAN LILY - Fritillaria persica

Fritillaria persica - http://www.suttons.co.uk/


The Fritillaria family has some of the world's most gorgeous looking flowering plants and Fritillaria persica is no exception. The trouble is that the bulbs need to be grown to a seriously large size before they are mature enough to flower. This means that if you do want to purchase one, numbers are always limited and that makes them expensive!

Wild Persian Lilies - http://commons.wikimedia.org/
Commonly known as the Persian lily, it a native to the rocky slopes in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Israel, west Asia and southern Turkey.

Unfortunately, due to over collection and loss of habitat this stunning plant is under threat in the wild.

If you do get to see the Persian lily for sale, a rarity in itself, then you shouldn't need to worry about damaging wild stocks as the reputable bulb companies shouldn't sell them.

What you are more likely to be purchasing is the cultivar 'Adiyaman', which is taller and more free-flowering than the true species. If you are concerned about the origin of your plant stock then make inquiries at the point of origin, or do not purchase!

It is a robust bulbous perennial growing between 12 and 24 inches tall depending on maturity and environment. Each plant may bear up to 30, conical, narrow, bell-shaped flowers. these can be up to 3/4 inches long, ranging in colour from a luscious deep purple to greenish brown.

How to grow Fritillaria persica

Persian lily bulbs - image credit http://www.srgc.org.uk/
The Fritillaria persica will grow in any fertile, well drained soil in a sunny border or rock garden.

However a note of warning is needed here! Do not plant them in an area where the plant is at risk of becoming waterlogged, because if you keep them to wet and you may lose the bulb to fungal rots!

They like hot, dry sites, and so perform best in full sun in the northern European gardens, however they will also appreciate some light afternoon shade in warmer countries.

Fritillaria persica are usually purchased as bulbs, as as such will need to be handled carefully. They are composed of few fleshy scales and are intolerant to bruising or prolonged periods exposed to the air - a characteristic which I have discovered to my cost.

Image credit - http://www.srgc.org.uk/
Purchase yours as soon as they become available, normally the end of August, early September and get them in the ground at your earliest convenience.

They will need to planted  6” deep and spaced 9-12” apart. Position on their sides so that the hollow crowns do not retain water. Forget, and sit them upright, and once more your bulbs are at risk of rotting off underground. This is an expensive mistake.

Surround them with coarse sand to help drain excess water away. The Persian lily is prone to slug and snail damage on emerging growth and so will benefit from a mulch of sharp grit to deter them.

For related articles click onto:
CROWN IMPERIAL LILY - Fritillaria imperialis
HOW TO GROW THE CALLA LILY
HOW TO GROW CANNA LILIES
HOW TO GROW THE CROWN IMPERIAL LILY
HOW TO GROW FRITILLARIA IMPERIALIS FROM SEED
HOW TO PLANT LILY BULBS
HOW TO PROPAGATE THE SNAKE'S HEAD FRITILLARY - Fritillaria meleagris
LILIUM NEPALENSE - The Lily of Nepal
MADONNA LILY - Lilium candidum
PERSICARIA VIRGINIANA
SPIDER LILY - Hymenocallis species and cultivars
The Eyeball Plant
THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY - Cardiocrinum giganteum
THE GIANT HIMALAYAN LILY - Cardiocrinum giganteum
THE GLORY LILY - Gloriosa rothschildiana
The Golden Foxtail lily - Eremurus bungei
THE HIMALAYAN FOXTAIL LILY - Eremurus himalaicus
THE PERSIAN LILY - Fritillaria persica
THE SNAKE'S HEAD FRITILLARY

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