Fritillaria raddeana
Common Name: fritillary 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Northwestern Iran, Turkmenia
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant


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, 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. New plants may be propagated by offsets which form around the original bulb. Plants go dormant in summer, at which point they require less soil moisture.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Fritillaria raddeana, native to rocky areas of northeastern Iran, is a bulbous perennial of the lily family. Each bulb produces a large umbel of 10-20 pendant, bell-shaped, pale greenish-yellow flowers atop a stiff upright stem rising to 2 1/2' tall. Flowers have light burgundy tinting. Flowers bloom in early spring (April). Each flower umbel is topped by a pineapple-like tuft of narrow leaf-like bracts. Stems are clad with shiny, glaucous, lanceolate, pale green leaves (to 5" long). Foliage and bulbs have an unpleasant aroma. This species resembles Fritillaria imperialis (crown imperial).

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 honors German naturalist Gustav Ferdinand Richard Radde (1831-1903).


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.

Garden Uses

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