Saturday, May 22, 2010

Holy Grail Number Two: Fritillaria orientalis

"Whuaoo!!!" was the technical term echoed off of the rock cliff walls by Mr. Wallis upon making a huge find and a planthunting-goal-plant of his own. We are excited to see and document Fritillaria orientalis (including photos, GPS and altitude) despite not being in bloom. (but in bud) It really is a beautiful thing, seeing a plant you know and grow, but in it's native place. We're within spitting distance of the Russian border at this point on the Russian Military Highway in Northern Georgia. In the picture, the plant he first spotted (we found more when we learned what habitat to look for) is behind his elated self, top of the photo, at the base of the multi-stemmed twiggy shrub clinging to the stone ledge. Let's play spot-the-frit. Note seedlings growing perpendicularly out of the grass tussock,
in the dark area. The blooming-sized plants made company for themselves. These windblown-seed-babies on the ledge nearby were plentiful, but seemed to lack the exact habitat that would see them to full, blooming size.

Mr. Wallis says his plants at home lean almost horizontally out of their pots. Perhaps the memory of thier origins still spices their blood.

Bob and Rennvig are "professional plant hunters," making a habit of traveling to Turkey to see the wild plants. They are efficient and effortless in their travels.  They are especially nuts for Frits, and Renn enjoys pig-watching at the same time...

One can see that the plants are the only thing worth looking at, it's otherwise unscenic...
Cheers my friends, thanks for reading.

Fritillaria orientalis grown by Zhirair Basmajyan.

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