Five species of bulbous plants from Western China and Tibet, through the Himalaya to Iran. Basically like Lilium but having a monocarpic tunicate bulb more like an onion than a lily. In addition it produces basal leaves which grow during the winter, and the stigma is trifid rather as in many Fritillaria species.
Distinguished plants for the rock garden but not always easy to grow. In cold areas where the winter foliage is damaged they are best in pots in the alpine house. A moist but well-drained soil, ideally fairly humus-rich and partial shade, though sunnier sites are tolerated. Propagation by seed in spring or the offsets left behind when the flowering bulb withers in late summer or early autumn.