A checked flower? How is that possible?
Meet one of the most interesting bulbs I've encountered- the fritillaria.
The checkered version is fritillaria meleagris.
Fritillaries are bulbs that typically bloom in early to mid spring. They prefer a well drained site and will not thrive in soggy soil. The blooms may be used as cut flowers. After its flowering period is over, as with most bulbs, it is important to leave its foliage on as they will create food through photosynthesis and strengthen the bulb for the future. The bulbs do not like to be moved, so planting in containers is not advised.
This series of fritillaria photos is from Martha Stewart's magazine- I loved how the flowers were staged.
The species has many varieties. They all have in common the bell-shaped flowers that usually dangle, with bulbs that are oddly shaped and stems that do not branch.
F. imperialis can reach three feet high with brightly colored blooms that have a skunky smell. It is best to place these in the back of the border for that reason.
F. meleagris is the smaller species with the distinctive geometric pattern.
F. persica, below, has the dark purple or white bells on a stem that can reach four feet.
For more information, visit Fritillaries.
Have you grown any fritillaries in your garden? I'd love to hear how they grew.