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Crown Imperial Lily

Fritillaria imperialis

Cultivated by the mid 1700s, the Crown Imperial Lily, with its bell-shaped blossoms pendulosly crowning the top of a three-foot stem, was much sought after, and Jefferson requested samples of this dramatic lily from Bernard McMahon five times before finally receiving three bulbs in 1812. By 1816, Jefferson's plantings at Monticello were strong enough to have shoots forwarded to his retreat home, Poplar Forest.

At Monticello, the orange/red-flowered 'Rubra' and yellow-flowered 'Lutea' varieties both appear.

Growth Type: 
Bulb
Color(s): 
Yellow, Orange
Hardiness Zones: 
Zone 9, Zone 8, Zone 7, Zone 6
Location at Monticello: 
West Lawn
Planting Conditions: 
Full Sun
Blooming History: 
2002 Apr 1 to 2002 Apr 152003 Mar 31 to 2003 Apr 302005 Apr 5 to 2005 May 22006 Mar 31 to 2006 Apr 282007 Mar 28 to 2007 Apr 252008 Apr 4 to 2008 May 22009 Apr 6 to 2009 Apr 242010 Apr 1 to 2010 Apr 232011 Apr 5 to 2011 May 32012 Mar 19 to 2012 Apr 92013 Apr 11 to 2013 May 72014 Apr 21 to 2014 May 7
Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Crown Imperial Lily.

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