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Monday, 22 October 2012

Floria Brussels, Château de Grand Bigrad: PART 5

Floria Brussels, Château de Grand Bigard: PART 5

Crossing the bridge to the Gatehouse of Chateau Grand Bigard.

Aside from the amazing variety of tulips to be seen at the Floralia Brussels at Chateau Grand Bigard there were a few other flowers that I’d never seen before and were quite unique and fascinating. The first  was referred to as fritillaire impériale (Fritillaria imperialis) the English name being Crown imperial or Kaiser's Crown. Fritillaria imperialis is a member of the genus Fritillaria which is part of the Liliaceae Family.

 Fritillaria Imperialis

Just so you can place Fritillaria imperialis in relation to tulips. Tulips belong to the Tulipa genus which are also part of the Liliaceae Family. Lillies of course are also part of the Liliaceae Family. For ease of comparison here are their respective scientific classifications:
Order Liliales, Family Liliaceae, Genus Tulipa, Species T gesneriana (Binomial name: Tulipa gesneriana)

Order Liliales, Family Liliaceae, Genus Fritillaria, Species F imperialis(Binomial name: Fritillaria imperialis)

Fritillaria Imperialis with tulips

Getting back to Fritillaria imperialis here are some interesting facts about them.
They are native to an area that stretches from Anatolia (the western 2/3rds of the Asian part of Turkey), Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and to foothills of the Himalayas. Their flowers range from yellow and orange to scarlet, although I did not see any of the scarlet variety at Grand Bigrad. Maybe they were in the areas I did not have time to visit.

Fritillaria Imperialis, tulips and hyacinths

Fritillaria imperialis supposedly have a foxy odour that repels rodents such as mice and moles. Apparently they are used to keep moles out of gardens because of this. I did not notice this scent and have not been able to find any information as to the source of the scent. Maybe it is in the roots?


Also the reference to rodents and moles was confusing because moles are not rodents since they belong to the order Soricomorpha along with shrews. So maybe it is not so much rodents as specific types of animals that are prey for foxes.  Also I am not sure if that scent is also effective in keeping away rodents such as squirrels, rats and hamsters. And then what of rabbits who are not rodents either but are prey for foxes?
I would be fascinated to find out as I am aware of other forms of non toxic environmentally safe methods of making specific areas of gardens repellent to unwanted animal visitors or marauders as the case may be.

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