Herb: Kamchatka Lily

Latin name: Fritillaria camschatcensis

Synonyms: Lilium camschatcensis

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Kamchatka Lily:

Bulb - raw, cooked or dried for later use. A staple food in areas where it grows wild, when cooked it tastes like baked chestnuts. One report says that the bulbs have a slightly bitter taste, even after cooking. The best-tasting bulbs are said to come from coastal areas where the plants are occasionally covered with salt water. A pudding is made by mixing the bulbs with the fruit of Empetrum nigrum. The bulb is also dried and ground into a powder, then used as a flour or starch for making breads and soups. The bulb is best if harvested in the autumn, it resembles a cluster of cooked rice grains. The green seedpods can be eaten raw or cooked. They are somewhat bitter.

Description of the plant:


45 cm
(1 foot)



Habitat of the herb:

Moist areas from sea level to 600 metres in open woods and sub-alpine meadows.

Propagation of Kamchatka Lily:

Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Protect from frost. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 - 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant. Division of offsets in August. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn. Bulb scales.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist areas from sea level to 600 metres in open woods and sub-alpine meadows.

Medicinal use of Kamchatka Lily:

None known

Known hazards of Fritillaria camschatcensis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.