Persian Lily Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
fritillary 'Ivory Bells'


Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells' is recognized for its striking and elegant appearance, characterized by a tall stem that supports a vertical arrangement of bell-shaped flowers. These blooms are a delicate ivory color, lending the plant its name and giving it a sophisticated, almost ethereal look. The petals have a waxy appearance and can sometimes bear subtle greenish or purplish lines that add depth and contrast to the overall ivory palette. The foliage of 'Ivory Bells' is also notable, comprising narrow, lance-shaped leaves that ascend the stem in a spiraling fashion, enhancing the vertical interest of the plant. The leaves are a blue-green hue, a cool and attractive backdrop that makes the ivory flowers stand out even more. The distinct flower and leaf arrangement on the stem contribute to the plant's ornamental appeal, making it a captivating addition to garden spaces. Overall, the 'Ivory Bells' carries an air of sophistication and simplicity, with its elongated form and contrasting colors creating a dramatic yet graceful garden display.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Persian Fritillary, Ivory Bells

    • Common names

      Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Persian Lily's toxicity to humans is generally considered low. However, if consumed, parts of the plant may cause mild stomach upset and possible irritant effects on the skin and mucous membranes. While severe toxicity is rare, ingestion should still be avoided, and handling the plant with care is advised to prevent possible dermatitis.

    • To pets

      Persian Lily may contain alkaloids that can be toxic to pets if ingested, potentially causing symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting or diarrhea. Although it is not typically considered highly toxic to pets, it is still advised to prevent your pets from consuming any parts of the plant to avoid these adverse effects.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      3-4 feet (0.9-1.2 meters)

    • Spread

      1 foot (0.3 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Middle East


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells' adds visual interest to gardens with its unique, tall spires of bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers.
    • Pest Resistance: This plant is not particularly prone to pests, which can make it easier to care for than other more pest-susceptible plants.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, 'Ivory Bells' can be relatively drought tolerant, requiring less frequent watering and making it suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Deer Resistance: The plant is known to be resistant to deer, which can be particularly beneficial in areas where deer predation on gardens is a problem.
    • Low Maintenance: 'Ivory Bells' requires minimal maintenance once established, making it an excellent choice for gardeners looking for low-care plants.
    • Seasonal Interest: It blooms in the spring, providing an early season burst of color and interest after the winter months.
    • Attracts Pollinators: While not specifically known for attracting a wide range of pollinators, the flowers can attract bees and other pollinating insects, benefiting the entire garden ecosystem.
    • Architectural Structure: The tall, upright form of 'Ivory Bells' adds architectural structure to garden beds and borders, and can serve as a focal point in the landscape.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells', commonly known as Persian Lily, can be used as a unique floral arrangement centerpiece due to its tall, dramatic spires of bell-shaped flowers.
    • Persian Lily bulbs can be used in a technique called 'forcing' for winter blooms indoors, providing a touch of spring during the colder months.
    • The plant can serve as an educational tool in botanical and horticulture programs for studies on bulbous plant propagation and growth habits.
    • Persian Lily can be incorporated into thematic gardens, such as Victorian or cottage gardens, to add a historical aspect to the landscape design.
    • Its sturdy stems allow the Persian Lily to be used in windbreaks or as a back border for garden beds to provide structure and height.
    • The plant can be used in sensory gardens, as its unique texture and flowering pattern provide a tactile and visual experience.
    • For photography or art, the striking appearance of Persian Lily can be a compelling subject for botanical illustrations or macro photography.
    • This plant can be planted as part of a deer-resistant garden, as the bulbs and foliage are generally not favored by deer.
    • Persian Lily can be used in transition zones in landscaping, effectively bridging between cultivated garden spaces and wilder areas.
    • It can serve as a natural marker or point of interest within a labyrinth or meditation garden due to its distinctive height and form.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Persian Lily is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Persian Lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Mystery and intrigue: The Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells', with its unique and somewhat mysterious bell-shaped flowers, can represent curiosity and the allure of the unknown.
    • Elegance and grace: The plant's striking appearance and delicate ivory-colored blooms signify a sense of refinement and sophistication.
    • Resilience: As a hardy plant that can emerge from the harsh conditions of late winter, it often symbolizes the human ability to endure challenges and emerge with beauty.
    • Perseverance: The bulb's capacity to bloom year after year represents steadfastness and an unwavering spirit.
    • Nobility: The "Ivory Bells" variant, with its regal coloration, can be associated with purity, virtue, and a noble character.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Persian lily, commonly known as Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells', should be watered deeply to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During active growth in spring, water approximately every week with about 1 inch of water or enough to soak the top 6-8 inches of soil. Reduce watering after the foliage has died back post-flowering and during its dormant period in summer, watering sparingly or not at all unless the soil is very dry. Over-watering or allowing the bulbs to sit in water may cause them to rot.

  • sunLight

    Persian lily thrives in full sun to partial shade, so place the plant where it can receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight a day. An ideal spot is one that offers morning sunlight and protection from intense afternoon heat, which can stress the plant. The dappled shade beneath open-branched trees or eastern exposures are excellent spots for these plants to flourish.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Persian lily prefers a temperate climate with temperatures ranging from 50°F to 75°F. It can tolerate a minimum temperature down to 20°F, but it should not be exposed to prolonged freezing conditions. The ideal temperature for robust growth would be in the range of 60°F to 70°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Persian lily typically involves deadheading spent flowers to promote plant health and prevent self-seeding. After flowering, cut back the flower stalks but leave the foliage until it dies back naturally. This allows the plant to gather energy for next year's growth. Pruning is generally done annually after flowering is complete.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Persian Lily (Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells') requires well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A good soil mix for this plant includes equal parts of loamy soil, sand or perlite, and compost or well-rotted manure to ensure proper drainage and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Persian Lily bulbs should be repotted every two to three years or when they become overcrowded. Repotting is best done in the fall after the leaves have died back.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Persian Lily prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable. As long as the plant is not in an overly dry environment, humidity levels typically found in a home or garden should be sufficient.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and ensure good airflow.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in well-drained soil with partial to full sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells', commonly known as Persian Lily, begins its life cycle as a bulb, which lies dormant underground during the summer months. In autumn, the bulb roots develop in preparation for growth. Come late winter to early spring, the Persian Lily sends up a tall flowering stem adorned with lance-shaped, gray-green leaves, and a spike of bell-shaped, ivory to greenish-purple flowers appears. After the flowering stage, which occurs in spring, the plant sets seed, and once the seeds are mature, they are dispersed by wind or animals. Throughout the summer, the foliage dies back, allowing the plant to enter a period of dormancy as energy is conserved in the bulb for the next growing cycle. This seasonal cycle repeats annually, with bulbs also having the ability to produce offsets, leading to the spread and continuation of the species.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagation for Fritillaria persica 'Ivory Bells', commonly known as Persian Lily, is by dividing the bulb offsets. This procedure is usually done in the late summer or fall when the plant is dormant. Gardeners carefully dig up the mature bulbs and gently separate the smaller bulblets that have formed around the base of the mother plant. These offsets can then be replanted immediately at a depth of about 5 inches (approximately 13 centimeters) with proper spacing to allow for future growth. It is important to plant them in well-drained soil and in a location where they will receive full sun to partial shade. With time and proper care, these offsets will develop into flowering plants within a few seasons.