ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis)

Updated on March 14, 2012

The genus Fritillaria, commonly referred to as Missionbells or Fritillaries, contains about 100 species plants that are propagated by bulbs and produce interesting, pendulous, tulip-like flowers. Fritillaria belongs to the true lily family, Liliaceae. Some species of Fritillaria are among my favorite flower bulbs including the plant featured in this article the stunning Fritillaria imperialis, which is known by the common names of Crown Imperial and Kaiser's Crown.

Crown Imperial is native to Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan but was one of the first plants to be brought in to cultivation. The wild form has large orange-red flowers and after looking at the photograph of a patch of them growing naturally below, it's easy to see why early growers were drawn to them, they are a striking sculptural landscape plant with large, bright flowers. Breeding efforts has managed to produce cultivars that have flowers that range from crimson red through to yellow, with an orange flowered cultivar being the commonly found in the bulb trade and in home gardens.


Fritillaria imperialis growing native in Kurdistan, a region on the boarders of Turkey, Iran and Iraq.
Fritillaria imperialis growing native in Kurdistan, a region on the boarders of Turkey, Iran and Iraq. | Source

The plant produces large stems to 1m tall which have large glossy, lance-shaped leaves along the lower portion of the stem. The stem then produces a large leafless stalk which is topped by a neat ring of large flowers and above them another tussock of smaller leaves. The likeness of the leaves and flowers at the top of the stem to a crown contributes partially to both common names of the plant, Crown Imperial and Kaiser's Crown.

Crown Imperials flowers in late Spring and oddly enough the flowers have an interesting fox-like scent which is reported to be authentic enough to even repel rodents such as mice and voles away from the garden. Other people have likened the scent of the flowers to a mixture of wet fur and garlic.

A yellow flower cultivar of Crown Imperial.
A yellow flower cultivar of Crown Imperial. | Source

Growing Crown Imperials

Crown Imperials are best grown from bulbs as seeds take a long time to germinate and may not come true to type. When planting the bulbs it is best to lay them on their sides. The structure of the bulb causes the emerging stem to grow from a depressing which can pool with water and cause them to rot when they are planted upright.

Choose a spot that receives full sunlight and has fertile, well-drained soil for best growth and optimal flowering. They will also grow in other soils types as long as they are free draining. The bulbs are quite large and should be planted about 15cm (6 inches) deep in sandy soils and 12cm (5 inches) deep in heavier soils. Leave 20cm (8 inches) spacing between each bulb in all directions, and for best aesthetics plant in odd-numbered clusters of 3 or more. Plant the bulbs on top of a layer of sand to help prevent rot.

Bulbs should be planted in Summer and will flower the following Spring. Water them regularly while they are growing but avoid over-watering them as they are prone to rot. The bulbs are toxic and should not be eaten, be carefully if handling them around children or pets.

After flowering the plant will begin to dry out, the leaves and stems should be left to completely dry before they are cut off at ground level. This allows the underground bulbs to draw as much energy as possible from the shoots so that they can multiply and produce healthy new shoots after winter has passed.


I hope this article has highlighted the wonderful Crown Imperial flower and given you some tips on how to successfully grow them in the home garden.


Do you have Crown Imperials growing in your garden?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)