Fritillaria persica

overall plant
Common Name: Persian lily 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Western Asia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Plum purple to gray green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut


Best grown in deep, organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Plants like hot, dry sites. Plants perform best in full sun in the northern parts of the growing range, but appreciate some light afternoon shade in hot summer areas. Well-drained soils are particularly important. Plant bulbs 6” deep and space 9-12” apart in fall. Add sand or grit to the planting hole to promote better drainage. Bulbs appreciate a good winter mulch. Plants will naturalize over time.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fritillaria persica, commonly called Persian lily, is a bulbous perennial of the lily family that is noted for producing 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 1-3' tall. Stems are clad with glaucous, lanceolate, often twisted, gray-green leaves (to 5" long). This species is native to rocky slopes in Turkey, Syria, Iran, Jordan and Israel.

Genus name is from the Latin word fritillus meaning dice box in reference to the checkerboard pattern on the petals of Fritillaria meleagris.

Specific epithet means from Persia (Iran).


Bulb rot is a significant problems in poorly drained soils. Plants are susceptible to leaf spot, rust and mosaic virus. Slugs and snails may damage foliage.


Sunny border or rock garden or naturalized areas. Plant in groups.