A very garden worthy, large-flowered species. This has tall growths (to 50cm) with whorled leaves topped by large, long, square-shouldered, red-brown, chequered flowers. The ground colour of the petals is actually white, cream or yellow (as it is with the more familiar F. meleagris) however this pale colour is heavily overlaid with red-brown chequering such that the flowers appear to actually be red-brown. (again this is the case in meleagris, though the overlay colour there is red-pink). The three outer petals are paler than the inners, but have a dark central stripe. Each stem normally bears one flower, but as plants become more robust, with time, then they may carry up to four. An impressive and very attractive species, which enjoys very fertile, damper soils and not too severe a summer rest.
These are cultivated bulbs which have come to us from a nursery in China, where they are grown and propagated as a medicinal crop. The name is tentative, but is based on both literature and on pictures sent to us of the flowers and bulbs. These point to the plant being F.anhuiense, based on the appearance of the flowers and especially the rather characteristic bulbs, although the width of the leaf, points to affinities with F. monantha. However both of the original descriptions of these species were based on wild plants, whilst cultivated plants would be expected to be larger and thus they will also have wider leaves!
F. anhuiense is part of a taxonomically complex group, plagued with synonyms, resulting from the over-zealous description of new species, often based on trivial or variable distinctions, in the past. If you are unhappy with having just a tentative name, then please don’t buy until we are 100% sure.
In the wild found in bamboo forests, thickets and grassy slopes at 600-900m, often over limestone, in Anhui and Henan. These are cultivated, nursery-raised bulbs from Yichang in Hubei, China. The bulbs themselves, though not massive, form several smaller daughter bulbs tucked into or fused into the main bulbs which have the slightly conical central structure familiar to growers of many American species and F. camschatcense though in those species the offsets are rice grains and they are borne on the edge.