Fritillaria atropurpurea

Spotted Fritillary

Plant Type: Bulb
Sun: Partial Shade, Shade
Drainage: Well-draining
Water: Occasional
Height X Width: 2' X 0.5'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



The spotted fritillary is found in a variety of habitats throughout western North America. In California it thrives in shady spots in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range. Like most bulbs it emerges from summer dormancy with a few lance shaped leaves in the late winter or early spring. That may be all there is to see for several years as the bulb stores ample energy for flowering and seed production. Every year the leaves are more numerous and larger. Once the bulb is of adequate size, a single flowering stock arises with alternating leaves and one or two pendant flowers. These vary in color but share the deep purple blotches which inspired the common and scientific names (atropurpurea=dark purple). The growing site should be fairly shady with well draining soil. The bulbs should be protected on all sides from herbivores (squirrels, gophers, rats, etc.). The bulb must receive little or no water during the dry season. Please note that this bulb is considered difficult to cultivate.


Deer Resistant: No
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous