Fritillaria 'Lentune Lantern'

F. (aurea x pinardii) x 'Lentune Slate'

The result of pollinating Fritillaria (aurea x pinardii) with Fritillaria 'Lentune Slate'. The seed was sown in September 2013 and this clone was singled out in 2019.

The sowing resulted in many and varied clones, all of which look plausible as progeny of the intended parents - bearing in mind that wasps can easily intervene in the pollination process to spoil my intentions!

F. 'Lentune Lantern' is a sister seedling of F. 'Lentune Laggard', F. 'Lentune Lustre' and F. 'Lentune Lovat'

Seed parent(F. aurea x pinardii)

Sourced from Kath Dryden around the turn of the millennium. Kath's catalogue provided no information about provenance. The literature contains various references to this hybrid (both natural and man-made).

  • The Frit Group ‘Journal’ No13 Pg21 (Autumn 2003) refers to a wild hybrid F. aurea x pinardii collected by Martyn Rix under the number Rix1603.

  • The Roger Phillips & Martyn Rix book 'Bulbs' contains photos of Rix1601 & Rix1602 (found in central Turkey). The example of Rix1602 in this book looks like my plant. The text refers to hybrids made between Rix1602 and F. aurea.

  • Rod Johnson had seedlings of F aurea x fleischeri (F. fleischeri is a synonym of F. pinardii). The source of Rod’s seed is unknown.

  • The Kevin Pratt book has a picture of this hybrid but it is much closer to pinardii than my own plant.

  • Bob & Rannveig Wallis had a plant of Rix1602 at Chesterfield 2010 but this did not match my own plant (alas I have no photo!)

  • Ian Young has a picture on his bulb log that looks much closer to mine. It is his own raising from seed received from Gothenburg and is probably unlikely to be Kath's source of material. See

  • I have a picture of Rix1601 in the RBGE exhibit at Hexham 2013 – this differs significantly from my own plant and indeed tallies with the photo of Rix1601 in the 'Bulbs' book.

In conclusion: I think my plant is Rix1602 but cannot be certain.

Pollen parent(F. 'Lentune Slate')

The true parentage of this plant is uncertain. I grew it from seed and planted the entire potful, as a clump, into an outside trough. After a few years it was the sole survivor in that part of the trough and the only nearby label suggested Fritillaria crassifolia kurdica. Having dug it out and potted it for the showbench I initially exhibited it as Fritillaria crassifolia kurdica hybrid but was not entirely convinced of any F. crassifolia kurdica influence. Apart from glaring morphological differences, this plant is a prolific 'rice maker' whilst (in my experience at least) Fritillaria crassifolia produces very little (if any) rice. I currently favour the notion that F. crassifolia kurdica may indeed be the seed parent and that Fritillaria whittallii may be the pollen parent. Both the flowers and the leaves of 'Lentune Slate' are intermediate between these two putative parents and in addition, F. whittallii is a 'rice maker' and so could have contributed this attribute to its offspring.

Fritillaria 'Lentune Slate' has won lots of red stickers at AGS shows during the last ten years (under a variety of labels until I finally gave it a cultivar name) and more recently a few trophies. It was given an 'Award of Merit' by the RHS Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee in March 2022.

The 'Slate' element in the name is reference to the slate coloured 'bloom' on the flowers.