Fritillaria 'Lentune Sky'

F. ariana x bucharica

Bob Worsley has exhibited this plant at Alpine Garden Society shows in recent years. At the Early Spring show in 2024 it was seen by the RHS 'Joint Rock Plant Committee' and awarded a Preliminary Commendation subject to it being given a clonal name. Bob's immediate response to this requirement was 'Lentune Sky'

In 2010 I made the deliberate cross using a plant of F. ariana (originally from a commercial source) and pollen from a plant of F. bucharica that I had grown from seed tracing back to a wild collection in Tajikistan. Both F. ariana and F. bucharica are within the Rhinopetalum group and native to Iran,  Afghanistan, and Central Asia. 

This resulted in lots of viable seed from five pods. Four pots were sown in late September and all pots had germinated by early February 2011. They made nice little bulbs in their 1st year (as big as other frit taxa left in their seed pots for 2 or 3 years). The bulbs were all at the bottom of their seed pots indicating  they like to be planted deep.

They flowered well in 2014 with predominantly pale pink flowers (paler than the seed parent) but a few bulbs gave rise to pale blue flowers. One of the pots (all pink flowers) was sufficiently advanced to win the ‘6 from seed’ class when I exhibited it at the AGS Hexham show that year (see the large image above)

All my pots continued to thrive so that I had far more material than I could accommodate and I sold most of the bulbs at the AGS Bakewell show and also on eBay in 2015. 

Bob Worsley was one of the people who bought some of the bulbs at the AGS Bakewell show. 'Lentune Sky' is the result of that acquisition. Whilst I always include several (small) bulbs/bulblets in each packet, and so Bob might well have obtained more than one clone, there is every indication that his stock has now reduced to a single clone.  

'Lentune Sky' is one of the pale pink clones.

All of the bulbs that I retained turned out to be pale pink (none were as good as Bob's 'Lentune Sky'). Some buyers would have got lucky and received the pale blue ones! I've yet to track these down (if indeed any still exist).