It is not a tulip, it is not a daffodil but it is a very well known bulb flower in many gardens. Its characteristic: Its high-stemmed flowers that stand out above any floral and / or vegetable massif. Let’s see what climatic, edaphological and general care characteristics it needs. Fritillaria imperialis
THE CROWN IMPERIAL OR FRITILARIA, A TALL BULBOUS
Within the floral species for ornamental gardening, it is quite possible that the ones that have the most weight are the bulb flowers. Hyacinths, tulips, azaleas, daffodils … Genetically, over the years, true wonders and color combinations almost impossible to imagine have been achieved, thanks to the good work of horticulturists for generations, to obtain varieties and cultivars of all kinds in color , resistance and adaptability to different climates .
Furthermore, as if that weren’t enough, they are relatively easy to grow, and if the bulbs are in good condition, they almost always produce striking blooms with little effort. Ideal for those just starting out.
There are many bulb flowers and leaving aside the most well-known ones mentioned in the previous paragraph, there are others that, although less known, also have a certain role and we cannot leave behind. One of them is the one we are talking about today, the Imperial Crown or Fritillaria imperialis.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF FRITILLARIA IMPERIALIS
If this genus had to be defined by its morphology, we could highlight its long floral stems that reach a height that stands out above most flowers, leaving a floral group hanging like bells of warm colors from yellow to red passing through oranges in function of the different cultivars.
The flowers hang under the leaves making a set as if it were an elaborate bouquet. It is of spring flowering, that is why we have decided to talk about it in the middle of April.
FRITILLARIA IMPERIALIS GROWING CONDITIONS
CLIMATE AND SUN EXPOSURE
Depending on the cultivar, there is a great variety in terms of resistances. It has a warm or temperate climate, although some can withstand harsh winters. There are cultivars with a resistance rating H6 (≈ -20 ºC).
Although it tolerates some sun, it is advisable to place it in semi-shady areas in flower beds located under the protection of a semi-dense crown tree, for example. This in hot weather. If the temperatures are rather cool it can withstand direct sun.
SOIL AND FERTILIZER
The type of soil must be very rich in humus, fresh, loose and oxygenated and above all well drained. Its pH range should not be a concern. It grows well from neutral to slightly acidic or basic soils. Drainage and nutrition are more important. For the compost a supply of mature compost is recommended to ensure a total availability of nutrients.
GENERAL PLANTING AND CARE TIPS
FrItillaria imperialis requires a rather deep planting depth. Between 10 and 20 cm depending on varieties (shorter or taller). This ensures that flower stalks longer than one meter remain upright and look the way they should. The planting of the bulbs is usually done in autumn. Once the flowering is finished, the strong and long stems must be cut at ground level.