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Common Name: Pale-Flowered Fritillary
Fritillaria pallidiflora is a Bulb up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine..
E. Asia - China to E. Siberia.
Alpine meadows, woods and scrub[
]. Slopes in the sub-alpine zone[
]. Forests, thickets, meadows, grassy slopes, mountain steppes, 1300 - 2500 metres in NW Xinjiang, China[
One of the best species in this genus for growing outdoors in Britain[
], it is easily grown in a moderately fertile well-drained soil so long as it is not allowed to dry out[
]. Prefers a rich peaty soil in semi-shade[
]. Another report says that it succeeds outdoors when grown in a bed of river sand and leafmould about 60cm deep[
A very ornamental plant[
]. Cultivated for medicinal use in China[
The bulbs are antitussive, expectorant, febrifuge and pectoral[
]. They contain fritimine which lowers blood pressure, diminishes excitability of respiratory centres, paralyses voluntary movement and counters effects of opium[
]. An infusion of the dried powdered bulb is used internally in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, feverish illnesses, abscesses etc[
]. The bulbs also have a folk history of use against cancer of the breast and lungs in China[
]. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, excessive doses can cause breathing difficulties and heart failure[
The bulbs are harvested in the winter whilst they are dormant and are dried for later use[
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.