Fritillaria imperialis (Crown Imperial)

Scientific Name

Fritillaria imperialis L.

Common Names

Crown Imperial, Imperial Fritillary, Crown on Crown, Royal Crown Flower, Kaiser's Crown


Fritillaria aintabensis, Fritillaria corona-imperialis, Fritillaria imperialis var. imperialis, Imperialis comosa, Imperialis coronata, Imperialis superba, Lilium persicum, Petilium imperiale

Scientific Classification

Family: Liliaceae
Subfamily: Lilioideae
Tribe: Lilieae
Genus: Fritillaria


Color: Orange-red
Bloom Time: Spring


Fritillaria imperialis is an impressive flowering plant that grows up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. Each bulb produces a thick, stout, upright, ramrod-straight flowering stem, which rises to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall. The green stem leaves are lance-shaped, up to 6 inches (15 cm) long, with wavy margins appear in whorls around the lower 1/2 of the stem. Each stem is topped in spring with a crown of orange-red, drooping, bell-shaped flowers topped by a small pineapple-like tuft of leaf-like bracts.

Fritillaria imperialis - Crown Imperial
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USDA hardiness zone 5a to 8b: from −20 °F (−28.9 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Unusual and hardy, Fritillaria bulbs produce best when planted in moist soil in a sunny to part shade location in the flower bed. Wildflower Fritillaria lilies are an excellent choice for the gardener who wants an out of the ordinary specimen among more common spring-blooming bulbs.

Growing Fritillaria may reach 4 feet (1.2 m) or more in spring. Use wildflower Fritillarias as specimens, in groupings, or as an addition to a traditional bulb bed.

Be prepared to plant bulbs as soon as they arrive. Plant larger bulbs with the base about 5 inches (12.5 cm) below the soil surface, while smaller Fritillaria bulbs should be planted about 3 inches (7.5 cm) down. Plant bulbs in well-drained soil and keep it moist until the root system is established.

Fritillaria bulbs resist deer, squirrels, and bulb digging rodents and may help protect other bulbs that are favorites of the critters. See more at How to Grow and Care for Fritillaria Bulbs.


Native to a wide stretch from Turkey and Iraq across the plateau of Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Himalayan foothills.



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