Fritillaria persica (Persian Lily)

Scientific Name

Fritillaria persica L.

Common Names

Persian Lily


Fritillaria arabica, Fritillaria eggeri, Fritillaria libanotica, Fritillaria nobilis, Theresia libanotica, Theresia persica, Tozzettia persica

Scientific Classification

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


Color: Purple to gray-green
Bloom Time: Spring


Fritillaria persica is a bulbous perennial that produces attractive racemes of plum purple to gray-green flowers in spring. Each raceme contains up to 30 conical, nodding, bell-shaped flowers atop a stiff, erect stem rising to 3 feet (1.2 m) tall. Stems are clad with glaucous, lanceolate, often twisted, gray-green leaves up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) long.

Fritillaria persica (Persian Lily)
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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.


This species is native to rocky slopes in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Jordan, and Israel.


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