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Thread: Selecting Bulbs(Fritalleria/Crown Imperial)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Wichita,Kansas
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    Selecting Bulbs(Fritalleria/Crown Imperial)

    Off to a bulb sale early tomorrow morning..did some scoping out today and have a question about Fritalleria or Crown Imperial bulbs. I think I almost know the answer to this question but am in denial since I really want Crwon Imperials-LOL. What should I be looking for in a healthy bulb ? They looked awfully white to me and when I think back, for their size, they didn't have much weight to them. I also read that they smell(stink actually) and I don't remember anything like that. I've been planting and handling some very healthy lily bulbs lately and am thinking that a bulb is a bulb and if these Crown Imps don't look anything like the healthy lily bulbs then maybe I should pass. Any advice (would be most welcomed) ?
    Thanks,Cathy
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    Southern Oregon
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    Hi Cathy;

    I bought a couple of Fritillaria/Crown Imperials 2 years ago, as I really liked their unusual qualities. I should have read my book about them before I planted them. The bulbs are quite large and heavy and do indeed smell like skunk! The first year I planted them the end of January in half wine barrels on my patio and they bloomed beautifully! This past summer only one of them came up. I dug down in the barrel and found not a single remain of the other bulb! Anyway, it must have rotted, as the Crown Imperials are prone to that. My book says that they should have been planted on their side, surrounded with perlite or very sharp sand. I went out to check the remaining bulb a couple of weeks ago and it had almost rotted completely away. Lesson learned! Perhaps I should have dug them up in the fall and replanted them again in January, since they do need the exposure to the cold, yet rot easily if watered when dormant. The bulbs I bought had some white and some tan color to them. Hope this helps you decide if you should get the ones you're thinking about. I'm sure I'll try them again some day and try to do it right then!
    Linda
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

  3. #3
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    Linda- Thank you so much for the info. I just returned from the sale and did buy 1 Fritalleria Rubra Maxima and 1 Frit. Persica. I had to go to a second store to get a decent Persica and the Maxima. The person working at the first store went thru the Persicas with me and said he didn't like any of them, I found only 1 good one of each at the other store(they were way back in the cardboard bin so I suppose somewhat protected). They have soft (viable) roots and the bulbs are firm. I really appreciate the planting info. I will be extra careful with the Frits.
    Some of the other goodies I got were:
    Allium Globemaster
    Allium Schubertii
    Crocus Pickwick and Gipsy Girl
    Hyacinth: Hollyhock(flowerettes open out), Skyjacket, City of Haarleem, Jan Bos, Gypsy Queen, Pink Pearl, Splendid Cornelia

    Now I've just got to plant them all !
    "If I keep a green bough in my heart, a singing bird will come"




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
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    They are gorgeous bulbs, but I can tell from Linda's description that they would have difficulty with our periods of abundant rainfall and mild winters.

    I guess I will admire them from afar until you learn what it takes and pass it along to me...

    Good Luck and Enjoy!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    Cathy; You're very welcome for the information. If you would like more info about them, just let me know and I'll add more from my book.

    Ann; That's no excuse not to try growing Fritillaria! LOL They grow in zones 5-9. If you wanted to see this beautiful and unusual plant up close, you could grow a couple of the Imperialis in your greenhouse, in a pot inside your house or even outside in your yard where they would be protected from so much rain. There are lots of other varities of Fritillaria that can be grown in wetter conditions. The flowers pictured in my book make me want to try other varieties! Are you still sure that you only want to admire them from afar?
    Linda-So. Oregon, Zones 6/7

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