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Frog cup Fritillaria meleagris

Phonetic Spelling
frit-il-AR-ee-uh mel-EE-uh-gris
Description

The Fritillaria meleagris is a perennial bulb that performs best when grown in dappled sunlight conditions.  Its showy, dainty flowers are 2" long bell-shaped blossoms.  The flowers are typically solitary but may be accompanied by one or more blooms.  Beautiful petals of veined and checkered red-brown, purple, white and gray are situated atop slender stems.  You may want is situate this plant near the front of your border or bed.  Its small stature and dark coloring are difficult to appreciate from a distance.

Plant your bulbs in the early fall and keep moist even when dormant.  Placing the bulbs on their sides will help to prevent water from pooling in the hollow crowns, thereby preventing the bulbs from rotting.

It is typically not found in the wild but grown as a garden flower.

The mottled flower color has a strong similarity to the color of a guinea hen, giving the plant one of its common names.

It should be planted in an area that retains moisture throughout the year.

Allow the foliage to die back naturally as the bulbs go dormant, typically by late spring.

Its native habitat is the grassy flood plains and meadows of Europe.

When pollinated, the stems straighten, allowing the seed pods held upright.  The pod contains 6 stacks of dark-colored, flat, triangular seeds.  This plant will multiply by self seeding, but is not considered invasive.  

No longer found in the wild, this is a popular garden bulb.  Its slender form allows it to be planted in beds with other perennials or annuals.  After it blooms and dies back, it will not leave large gaps in the bed that need to be filled.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  No known issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aphrodite'
    White petals with green veining
  • F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. Alba
    Pure white flowers with faint check pattern.
  • 'Jupiter'
    Large reddish cultival
  • 'Mars'
    Purple flowers
  • 'Saturnus'
    Pale violet and burgundy flowers
'Aphrodite', F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. Alba, 'Jupiter', 'Mars', 'Saturnus'
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#perennial#perennial bulb#rabbit resistant#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#black walnut toxicity tolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aphrodite'
    White petals with green veining
  • F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. Alba
    Pure white flowers with faint check pattern.
  • 'Jupiter'
    Large reddish cultival
  • 'Mars'
    Purple flowers
  • 'Saturnus'
    Pale violet and burgundy flowers
'Aphrodite', F. meleagris var. unicolor subvar. Alba, 'Jupiter', 'Mars', 'Saturnus'
Tags:
#bulb#showy flowers#perennial#perennial bulb#rabbit resistant#herbaceous#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#black walnut toxicity tolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Fritillaria
    Species:
    meleagris
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Europe and East Russia
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Blossoms and checkered and veined with reddish-brown and purple petals.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Light gray foliage may lay on the ground or stand upright. The foliage will die back in early summer when seed pods ripen.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    1 to 1.5' stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Insect Pests
    Rabbits