Plant of the Week
Fritillaria acmopetala (fritillary)
Why you should plant it
Bulb season brings out our mad desire to have carpets of brilliant spring colours. This sensational fritillary has such an unusual look that you need to take care when placing it in the garden. Think of a woodland setting or a rock garden – a background to show off its striking green/purple blooms. Because it’s not squirrel bait, this slender, fragrant lovely will naturalize over the years, which means you will have many more in the future.
Where to plant it
Tuck small bulbs such as this one almost anywhere in sun to part shade. It grows to 45 centimetres and is considered a midseason bloom, so consider where the leaves will unfurl in the spring when you are planting. The more sun, the better (and most woodland situations are fairly sunny when this bulb comes into its own). Remember, the deeper you plant, the less likely you’ll have squirrel disturbance – they won’t eat them, but have been known to dig them up.
What it offers
It’s a great little bulb to add to any woodland planting. As a bonus, it’s supposed to be deer-resistant. The handsome dark-green foliage lingers on after the flowers fade, but won’t be a nuisance. Frits, as most aficionados call them, are among the most unusual of all the little bulbs. Easy to plant, always enchanting to look at, they create an interesting mix relatively quickly. Add a dozen or so every year and before you know it you will have a display.
Source and cost
Get three for $7 through www.botanus.com, and visit the website for more plant and gardening information.