Fritillaria michailovskyi
Common Name: fritillary 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Northeastern Turkey, Transcaucasus
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Brownish-purple
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 perform best in full sun in the northern parts of the growing range. Well-drained soils are particularly important. Plant bulbs 4” deep and space to 6” 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. New plants may be propagated by offsets which form around the original bulb. Plants go dormant shortly after bloom, at which point they require somewhat dry conditions during the period of dormancy. Bulbs are intolerant of wet soil conditions when dormant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fritillaria michailovskyi, commonly called fritillary or Michael’s flower, is a bulbous perennial of the lily family that typically grows to 8-10” tall with a spread to 5-7” wide. This is a short, compact fritillary that is native to alpine screes and stony slopes near snow line in the mountains of northeastern Turkey. Each bulb produces narrow, strap-shaped, gray-green leaves and 1 to 4 nodding, downward facing, bell-shaped to bowl-shaped, brownish-purple flowers with a bright yellow border along the outer petal edges. Flowers bloom in spring (April-May).

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


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


Sunny borders, rock garden or naturalized areas. Plant in groups. Effective in patio containers.