Flower Glossary: Fritillaria

DesignSponge Fritillaria by Max Tielman
Of all the fancy flowers you can find, Fritillaria might be my favorite. Their delicate, bell-shaped heads look as if they’ve been painted by hand with the most intricate checkered pattern. While not all species have the same patterning (some have dramatically large, single-color blooms), the vast majority share a graceful nodding look that only adds to their elegance. Unfortunately Fritillaria come with a fairly high price tag per-stem and per-bulb. But their delicate and detailed nature makes them an excellent candidate for a single-stem display. So if buying a bunch isn’t in your budget, a single bloom will be perfect in a small bedside vase. xo, grace

Additional Information about Fritillaria:

  • Family: Liliaceae
  • Varieties: There are approximately 130 species of Fritillaria, grown most commonly in the Mediterranean, southwest Asia and western North America.
  • Cost: Fritillaria are not always easy to come by and most often come with a hefty price tag, ranging from $6 – $10 a stem.
  • Fun facts: Well, perhaps it’s more funny than fun, but some species of Fritillaria release a pungent and extremely displeasing odor, leading to the nickname “stink bells.”

We have these growing in our yard and I get excited for their arrival every year!


I wonder which ones put off the stink…interesting. I always love your flower posts – I am an essential oil junkie (make my candles with them) so learning about the plants they come from is always helpful.

Susan Krzywicki

There are lots of California native fritillary. We grow them out west – supporting our botanical heritage and keeping things local.