Imperial Crown A Gorgeous Flower

This gorgeous plant has had me mystified for a couple years.   Last year it grew a stalk but that was it.  Not enough of anything for me to post a pic saying what is this?

Now that it has flowered I posted a pic to a gardening group I am part of and learned that it is an Imperial Crown.

The Latin name is Fritillaria imperialis.

It is part of the Lily family. I think it is so pretty.   It came in a bag of mystery bulbs a couple years back from a nursery outside of Kitchener.   Cheap bag with a whack of bulbs in it.. most of which looked like tulips, some were grape hyacinths and a few others that I can't recall the names of.. but they were small bulbs with interesting flowers.. ah...ranuculus (or something like that).

They grow up to three feet tall.
They come in three colour variations: yellow, orange and red.  (and variations between that).
They come from Asia.   Native to a wide stretch from Anatolia, across the plateau of Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Himalayan foothills. 

I remember the instructions said to plant it on it's side...I've learned this is due to their propensity to rot quickly.  A friend on facebook said they were an expensive bulb to buy so I feel doubly blessed right now. :)   A beautiful flower to grace my spring garden and purchased inexpensively.  :)

As I researched this bulb a bit I learned the smell of the flower is supposed to deter squirrels.  Hubby quickly said "oh.. we need more of them then!".  :)   They do unfortunately, only bloom in the spring so it wouldn't work year round anyways.  I also mentioned to him I didn't find it really had a smell to it anyways, at least not noticeable enough for my poor nose.

Anyways, she's a beauty and I hope we can propagate more of them.  Wouldn't they be fun to share with others?

Should tell you this, if you want to visit other gardening links, check out the Garden Party.