The spring blooms of Frittilaria bring magic to the garden. It is as if the pendant bell shaped flowers are waiting to be worn by a fairy as a hat or skirt. A visit to Catherine Creek in Washington or Tom McCall nature preserve past Mosier, Oregon offer an opportunity to experience these magical flowers in the wild.

Frittilaria have an incredible menagerie of colors in patterns from solid pale yellow to dusky purple with yellow tips. The dainty Frittilaria meleagris, a native species, holds stunning purple and white checkered bells 6-8” above the soil. They pair beautifully with primroses, mondo grass or rhododendrons. The magestic Frittilaria imperalis offer a taller, bolder look with spires of orange or yellow bells, and combine well with the colorful foliage of Heuchera or feathery gold foliage of Tanacetum ‘Isla Gold’.

Since these bulbs enjoy a dry dormant season in the summer they are excellent candidates for planting under deciduous trees, rock gardens and garden beds with minimal irrigation in the summer. They add an incredibly unique look to any container or well drained garden bed, something a little different for that early spring bulb display.

Here at Portland Nursery we carry a few species potted in the spring and a larger selection of bulbs in the fall.

Fritillaria affinis 2

Fritillaria affinis

Purple flowers checkered with yellow/green spots.

F. imperialis

Fritillaria imperialis

Large bright flowers of yellow, orange, or red. Grows 3-4’ tall and 16” wide. Hardy in zones 4-7. Bulbs available in fall.

Fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria meleagris

Bell shaped checkered maroon, dark purple and/or murky pink. Grows 7-8” tall and 2” wide. Hardy in zones 4-9.

F. persica

Fritillaria persica

Lace-like leaves, bell shaped with plum and gray colored blooms. Grows 4-36” tall and 3” wide. Grows well in damp fertile soil, hardy in zones 5-9.

Fritillaria uva-vulpis 02HD

Fritillaria uva vulpis

Bell shaped flowers with dark brown exterior, and yellow interior. Plant as bulbs. Hardy in zones 3-10

Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot