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Common Name: Kamchatka Lily
Fritillaria camschatcensis is a Bulb up to 0.45 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Northern N. America - Washington to Alaska and eastwards to Siberia and Japan.
Moist areas from sea level to 600 metres[
] in open woods and sub-alpine meadows[
A woodland plant, preferring a moraine or rock garden[
]. Easily grown in a light moist but well-drained sandy woodland soil[
]. Prefers a moist peaty soil and partial shade and must not be allowed to become dry[
]. Another report says that it prefers a sunny position[
] whilst yet another says that it succeeds in full sun or light shade in a rich soil[
]. The plants often grow close to the sea and survive periodic inundation with salt water[
The dormant bulb is very hardy and has withstood soil temperatures down to -20°c, though the embryonic flower shoot will be damaged at temperatures around -15°c[
A very ornamental plant[
], it is very variable in size and flower colour[
]. The flowers are sweetly scented[
Plants flower within 3 - 5 years from seed[
Bulb - raw, cooked or dried for later use[
]. A staple food in areas where it grows wild[
], when cooked it tastes like baked chestnuts[
]. One report says that the bulbs have a slightly bitter taste, even after cooking[
]. The best-tasting bulbs are said to come from coastal areas where the plants are occasionally covered with salt water[
]. A pudding is made by mixing the bulbs with the fruit of Empetrum nigrum[
]. The bulb is also dried and ground into a powder, then used as a flour or starch for making breads and soups[
]. The bulb is best if harvested in the autumn[
], it resembles a cluster of cooked rice grains[
The green seedpods can be eaten raw or cooked. They are somewhat bitter[
Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[
]. Protect from frost[
]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate[
]. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 - 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant.
Division of offsets in August[
]. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.