Herbs & Plants

Fritillaria atropurpurea

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Botanical Name: Fritillaria atropurpurea
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. atropurpurea
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Liliales


*Amblirionynonyms:album (Nutt.) Sweet
*Fritillaria adamantina M.Peck
*Fritillaria alba Nutt.
*Fritillaria atropurpurea var. gracillima (Smiley) D.W.Taylor
*Fritillaria gracillima Smiley
*Fritillaria linearis J.M.Coult. & Fisher

Common Names: Purple Fritillary, Spotted fritillary

Habitat: Fritillaria atropurpurea Western N. America – California to Oregon, N. Dakota and New Mexico. It grows on humus rich damp soils under trees and shrubs in valleys and open woods, also in mountains to near the timberline, at elevations of 1000 – 3200 metres.

Fritillaria atropurpurea is a BULB growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) and bear narrow, pointed leaves. The nodding flower has spreading tepals each one or two centimeters long which are yellowish or cream-colored with heavy dark purple-brown mottling. The center of the flower has a central style surrounded by stamens with very large yellow anthers.

This species is similar to Fritillaria pinetorum, but it has nodding flowers compared with the latter’s erect blooms.

It is in flower from Apr to May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.
A woodland plant, preferring light soils. It is best grown in a well-drained sandy woodland soil. Plants are best grown in a bulb frame and kept rather dry in summer. Water should be withheld in summer or hot spells. Closely related to F. pinetorum.

Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 – 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales.

Medicinal Uses: The plant formerly had a reputation as a healing herb, but is not used at present.
Known Hazards : The bulb is poisonous.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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