Fritillaria imperialis ‘Lutea’ – This Crown Imperial bears clusters of bright yellow flowers (from April to May) and is beautiful in combination with mid season purple Triumph tulips in the foreground. Many gardeners plant Fritillaria bulbs on their sides to prevent water from collecting in the hollow crown which causes them to rot. Deer-resistant. Grows 3′ high. Hardy to zone 5.
Fritillaria meleagris – Commonly known as Checkered Lily or Guinea Hen Flower, this native of European meadows features uniquely checkered nodding blooms of deep purple and white (occasionally pure white) from April to May. It features greyish-green foliage and naturalizes quite well, although the bulbs are delicate, so plant with care. Grows 8-12″. Zone 3.
Fritillaria michailovskyi – This native of Turkey can be a bit hard to find but really does deserve to be planted in more gardens. It naturalizes well and features pendent clusters (of 1 to 4 flowers on average) of purplish-brown blooms with recurved bright yellow tips. It is an RHS Award of Garden Merit winner and requires good winter drainage. Grows 4-8″ high. Hardy to zone 5.
Fritillaria imperialis ‘Rubra Maxima’ – A Crown Imperial with deep reddish-orange flowers (and subtle purple veining) held in pendant clusters atop tall stems topped with a pineapple-like green bract. The bulbs have a distinct skunky odour and prefer fertile (add compost to the planting hole) soils and good drainage. Deer-resistant. Grows 2 to 3′ high. Hardy to zone 5.
Leucojum aestivum – Summer Snowflake is native to much of Europe and blooms just after Leucojum vernum in mid spring or late April. It features pendulous white flowers (with green spotted tips) held in clusters of up to 8 blooms on sturdy stems. These have a light chocolate scent and are nicely contrasted by the deep green strap-like foliage. Grows 18-24″ high. Hardy to zone 4.