Imperial chessboard

This plant, also known as the imperial crown, occurs in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir, on rocky cliffs, rocky slopes and in thickets. It grows in height 1000-3000 m n.p.m.

The onions are very large – can reach a diameter of up to 16 cm. They consist of only a few fleshy scales, sensitive to damage. There is a deep hole in each onion – stalk mark. You can see a bud in it, from which a new stem grows the following year. Plants even grow up to heights 120 cm.

Very thick, stiff stems are densely leafy at least halfway up. A magnificent plume of leaves grows from the top of the plant, under which the brick-colored flowers are concentrated. Varieties with orange-red and yellow flowers were also bred. Imperial checkerboards bloom in the second half of April and early May. At the base of each petal there is a honey extract that emits large drops of nectar. In Iran, this is why these plants are called "Mary's tears". In turn, according to another legend, the imperial crown is the only flower, who refused to bow his head at the time of Christ's crucifixion and cries ever since.
These plants require a warm place, sheltered from winds. We plant them in well-drained soil, that excess water can drain away freely. Otherwise, the roots – and even whole onions – they rot easily.
The green imperial checkerboard seed bags are very decorative and suitable for bouquets (you can also dry them).