Fritillaria elwesii (Elwes' fritillary) is a rather still unknown plant. You seldom see it in gardens, hence it may become a valuable collector's item. This low growing plant with rather inconspicuous foliage produces blooms that are sometimes referred to as "dusted". It is frost-resistant and tolerates dry sites very well.
Slender plants of the Fritillaria elwesii species take on a bluish colour and grow up to 40 cm tall. Their leaves are narrow, grass-like and grow randomly on the stems. Blooms of this fritillary hang down from the tops of slender stalks. They are medium sized, take on the shape of elongated bells and gather usually in groups of three. Purple-brown or crimson flower-heads are covered with a waxy coating that gives them this "dusty", "foggy" look. Contrasting, paler stripes run along in the middle of the petals. Altogether , Elwes' fritillary is charming, modest plant that takes on a subdued colouring.
Almost all fritillaries prefer sunny sites, but they would develop well in other locations, too. This plant grows in woods in the wild, but its cultivars show higher tolerance to shade. The soil should preferably be dried, properly drained and fertile.
Plants of these species fit onto fronts of the borders and edgings. Elwes' fritillary looks great in rock gardens, to which it gives a "wild" look, too. It presents its charms to the fullest in naturalistic arrangements, e.g. on lawn edges. It may also be grown in containers filled with coarse, sandy soil.