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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Fritillaria messanensis ssp. gracilis

It's been a little while since I've done a species feature post, so here we go:

Fritillaria messanensis ssp. gracilis

Listed as endemic to the Dinarides, the mountain range that separates the Balkan peninsula from the Adriatic sea. Rising a total of 8,839' above the Adriatic sea this range extends from Italy, through Bosnia, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo and into Albania.

This species seems to be highly variable with the illahe form lacking a greenish/yellow stripe through the center of the tepal that I have seen on some pictures. The habitat is listed as open meadows and light woodlands, I have seen pictures of it listed as a characteristic habitat that showed it growing in very rocky, almost scree like conditions. Most sources listed it as an easy plant for the open garden, it does increase well in pots as I can attest. 

Rod Leeds in his Plantfinders guide to early bulbs, states that it "grows in rocky places in open woods over limestone" Charles Hervey Grey does not list the ssp. but states that F. messanensis should be grown "on a Sunny, well drained slope" where it will flower in April and May. Mr. Leeds does go onto point out that it seems tolerant of semi-shady conditions, which he finds unusual as it's not typical in it's native habitat. 

I found it coming up in my old potting soil piles, so it does seem to do fine without the protection of a greenhouse or the coddling of a pot. 

The Rain has been consistent with only one dry day this week, The willamette river is up and over it's banks in a few spots, with Corvallis and Eugene getting a dose of flooding in the lowlands. It's not like me to complain about the rain, but a dry day every now and then would be much appreciated if at least to be able to get the lawn mowed. 


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