Kurdish Fritillary Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Hard-care
Kurdish thick-leaved fritillary


The plant commonly known as Kurdish fritillary presents a unique and striking appearance. From its base, it extends several slender, upright stems, which are clothed in waxy, blue-green leaves. These leaves are typically arranged in a linear fashion and can have a somewhat glaucous, or frosted, texture that adds to the plant's visual interest. The flowers are the most distinctive feature of the Kurdish fritillary. They hang in a bell-like fashion, nodding downwards from the stems. The blossoms are notable for their coloration, displaying a deep, purplish hue with a checkerboard pattern overlaid that brings a bold contrast to each petal. The flowers are usually solitary and can sometimes have a faint, unpleasant scent that is not particularly noticeable unless up close. Finishing off the ensemble, the fruit of the Kurdish fritillary is a capsule that contains numerous seeds, contributing to its continued propagation. The overall aesthetic of the plant is one of delicate beauty, characterized by its drooping blossoms and richly patterned flowers that entice the eye of any keen horticulturist or admirer of unique flora.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Kurdish Fritillary

    • Common names

      Fritillaria crassifolia var. kurdica.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      6-12 inches (15-30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Middle East


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ecosystem support: Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica provides habitat and food for various insects and pollinators, supporting biodiversity.
    • Ornamental value: With its unique bell-shaped flowers and striking appearance, it can be an attractive addition to gardens and landscaping projects.
    • Cultural significance: In some regions, it might have cultural or historical significance, being part of local traditions or used in celebrations.
    • Educational use: It can serve as a subject for botany and horticulture education, contributing to the understanding of plant biology and taxonomy.
    • Conservation importance: As a specific subspecies, Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica can be important for conservation efforts, representing biodiversity within the ecosystem.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • Antitussive: The bulbs of Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica are used in traditional medicine for their cough-suppressing properties.
    • Expectorant: It may also serve as an expectorant, helping to ease the expulsion of phlegm from the airways.
    • Cardiovascular Treatments: In some traditional medicine systems, components of this plant are used in remedies for certain cardiovascular conditions.
    • Anti-inflammatory: There is some evidence suggesting that the plant has anti-inflammatory effects.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica bulbs can be used as a source of starch or consumed as an emergency food during times of scarcity, given their carbohydrate content.
    • The crushed bulbs of the plant, due to their pungent smell, can serve as a repellent for moles and other rodents in gardens and fields.
    • In some cultures, the bulbs are used as an adhesive or glue after being crushed and mixed with water.
    • The bloom may be utilized for pigment extraction for natural dying of fabrics or artisanal crafts to give a yellow-orange hue.
    • Its striking flowers make Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica suitable for ornamental use in rock gardens and alpine collections.
    • The plant may play a role in local customs and folklore, where it is sometimes associated with symbols of luck or fertility in certain communities.
    • Considering the unique checkerboard pattern of the flowers, the petals can be used in floral arrangements or as an inspiration in design fields like fashion and textiles.
    • Its specific growing conditions make it a valuable species for ecological studies on biodiversity and adaptation in mountainous regions.
    • For educational purposes, it can be included in botany curricula and conservation lessons to raise awareness about rare and endemic plant species.
    • The seeds of Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica may be utilized in sustainable landscaping as a means of promoting native flora and fauna.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Fritillaria crassifolia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Fritillaria crassifolia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Endurance: Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica, like many bulb plants, emerges year after year, symbolizing the ability to endure challenges and persevere through difficult conditions.
    • Adaptability: It thrives in various climates and terrains, representing the quality of adaptability and the importance of being able to thrive in changing environments.
    • Rarity: As a subspecies not commonly found everywhere, it symbolizes uniqueness and the value in rarity and individuality.

Every 2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Kurdish fritillary prefers soil that is moist but well-drained. During active growth in the spring, water regularly to maintain consistent moisture, equivalent to about 1 inch of precipitation per week. However, once the flowering has finished and the leaves start to yellow, typically in late spring or early summer, reduce watering significantly. During the dormant period in summer after the foliage has died back, watering should be very minimal to prevent bulb rot, and you may not need to water at all if there is sufficient rain. It's important not to overwater, so using a gallon or so every week during active growth and then cutting back to slightly less than half a gallon a month during dormancy should suffice.

  • sunLight

    Kurdish fritillary thrives in full to partial sun conditions. The best spot for this plant would be one where it receives at least six hours of sunlight a day. However, this species can also tolerate some shade, especially in hotter climates where some afternoon shade can protect it from the most intense sunlight. Avoid deep shade locations as this could inhibit the growth and flowering of the fritillary.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Kurdish fritillary is adapted to temperate climates and prefers a temperature range that doesn't often drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature for this plant is between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperature ranges will encourage the best flowering and growth patterns, but the bulb is capable of surviving slightly colder winter temperatures provided the soil doesn't remain waterlogged and frozen.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically required for Kurdish fritillary. However, after flowering, you can deadhead the spent flowers to keep the plant looking tidy and to prevent seed formation, which can divert energy from the bulb. Do not cut back the foliage until it has completely died back naturally, as the leaves are necessary for photosynthesis to replenish the bulb for the next growing season. Pruning, in this case, is more about cleaning up dead plant material rather than shaping.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Kurdish fritillary prefers a well-drained soil mix with added sand or perlite to improve drainage, ideally with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mixture of equal parts loam, leaf mold, and grit is recommended.

  • plantRepotting

    Kurdish fritillary should be repotted every two to three years, allowing the bulb to rest in dry conditions after flowering until the next growing season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Kurdish fritillary thrives in moderate to low humidity levels, reflecting its native mountainous habitats; it does not require high humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, cool temperatures, well-draining soil, and minimal watering.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in a sunny spot with well-draining soil and shelter from wet conditions.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica, commonly known as Kurdish Fritillary, begins its life cycle with seed germination, typically after a period of dormancy and often triggered by temperature changes in its natural habitat. The germinated seeds give rise to young seedlings that develop a bulb, from which a solitary stem emerges. As the plant matures, it produces a rosette of lance-shaped leaves and eventually sends up a flower stalk with a single bell-shaped, checkered flower, usually in shades of purple or reddish-brown. After pollination, often by insects, the flower develops into a capsule containing numerous seeds. Once seeds are dispersed, the above-ground parts of the plant die back, and the bulb enters a dormant phase, surviving underground during harsh conditions. The plant reemerges from dormancy in the following growing season, completing its annual life cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • Fritillaria crassifolia subsp. kurdica, often known as the Kurdish fritillary, is typically propagated through bulb division. This is carried out in late summer to early fall, after the foliage has died back and the plant is dormant. Gardeners carefully dig up the bulbs and gently separate them into individual offsets, ensuring that each offset has at least one growth point. These offsets are then replanted at a depth of about 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters) in well-draining soil, with a spacing of around 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters) apart to provide room for growth. This method is favored for its simplicity and effectiveness in producing genetically identical plants to the parent.