May 052015 0 Responses

Fritillarias in Paklenica National Park

Before we left NZ the Mother had been looking up Fritillarias on her IPad and had found that there were 76,000 of them growing in a park just 10 minutes from where the Nephew has just moved to in Oxford.  He was despatched to capture them on film.  Which he obliging did as the lucky blighter only has to walk 40 mins down the tow path of the canal to get there.

That started us wondering if they were to be found in Croatia….  seemingly Mr Wikipedia told us we were MORE likely to see them in Slovenia…

So, you can’t believe how thrilled I was to more or less walk on top of them on top of a knob.  We’d walked up and up, marvelling all the way at the Cyclamen and Violets and the odd other thing, plus the gorgeous new leaves on the Beech trees.  When we got to the top it was beautifully sunny and we scoffed our sandwiches in singlet tops and remarked on how lucky we were with the weather, the Cyclamen and the fact that we were the only ones there.

After listening to the Cuckoos answering each other from one side of the valley to the other we fanned out to see what we could find amongst the short grass, Helianthemums, Ericas and Winter Roses.  Phil was stopped short by my gleeful shout and we huddled around this small area of what we think is Fritillaria crassifolia.  It was the only grouping we found all day except for the ones in the photo which we only found because we had to back track, and these were on the reverse side of a huge rock growing in the humus.  Amazing.

If  want to grow your own – Fritillaria are available only in Autumn and early Winter as a dry bulb.  Choose a slightly shady site, enrich the soil with good compost and don’t let them dry out or get too wet.  They can be successfully grown in pots too.

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