The Meleagris fritillary is a perennial bulbous plant native to Europe and northern Asia. At the end of winter the bulbs produce long linear leaves, similar to grass, of a bright green color, and erect stems bearing solitary flowers, in the shape of large bellflowers, pendulous, of a purple, red-brown, white or greyish-green color; dark colored flowers generally show a particular checkerboard color, reaching 20-30 cm in height. The bulbs give off a rather unpleasant smell, but the very decorative flowers make these plants very suitable for borders, in rocky gardens or in large flowerbeds, where they can be left freely to go wild. During the warm season they go into vegetative rest, and the leaves dry out completely. F. pallidiflora is very similar to F. meleagris, but has pale yellow flowers. F. persica has flowers similar to F. meleagris, but they bloom on a cob, wing up to 60-80cm. The bulbs and leaves of all species of fritillaria they emit a pungent and unpleasant aroma, so it is good to avoid handling the leaves.
These plants are also called by the name Bossolo of the dice.
For a luxuriant growth it is good to place the plants of the casings of nuts in a sunny or semi-shaded place where they can receive direct sunlight for a few hours a day. They are a variety that does not fear the cold and can be grown outdoors, given its rusticity that allows it to grow spontaneously in Italy. it is therefore not necessary to provide for the use of shelters or mulching material during the colder season.
As soon as the winter becomes mild, announcing the arrival of spring, we begin to water the nuts shell plants regularly, waiting for the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another; when the leaves begin to dry out, in June-July, watering should be suspended. It is good to supply water regularly during the vegetative period, making sure that there are no water stagnations that can cause the onset of root rot and the consequent deterioration of the plant.
The fritillaries are cultivated in a soil rich in organic, soft and deep, well-drained matter; they can also be grown in a container. They are buried for 7-10 cm, leaving a spice of 10-15 cm between each plant. As for the repotting of these specimens, it is necessary to proceed during the autumn period, when the plant is preparing for the vegetative rest; It is good to provide a rather large container, so as to allow a good development of the root system and a more vigorous growth.
in general the individual bulbs tend to produce new cloves every year, which can be detached and planted individually. They are specimens of easy cultivation, which do not require particular cultivation techniques for their reproduction, having an excellent rusticity and the ability to spontaneously appear.
Pests and diseases
in general they do not fear the attack of pests, being plants of this type hardy and resistant and able to grow spontaneously, even if, in some cases, it is possible to notice the presence of problems due to the parasite Lilioceris Lilii or criocera del giglio.
It is also good to take care to check the type of soil to verify that it allows good water drainage, so that water stagnation and the onset of rot or fungal diseases are avoided.
Dice box - Fritillaria meleagris: Notes
The genus Fritillaria has several species, about a dozen are cultivated in the gardens; among the most common we also remember
Fritillaria imperialis, also called the imperial crown