Four morphological infrageneric classifications of the genus Fritillaria have been published: Baker (1874), Bentham & Hooker (1883), Boissier (1882) and Turrill & Sealy (1980). Fritillaria is currently being revised by Martyn Rix and in his tentative list (Rix 2001) Korolkowia Regel and Rhinopetalum Fisch. ex J.E. Alexander are included as two of his eight subgenera. Also the endemic Japanese Fritillaria species are placed in their own subgenera Japonica.

Baker 1874

Bentham et Hooker 1883

The inclusion of Korolkowia and Rhinopetalum was strongly supported by Rønsted et al. (2005) but the division of the genus into eight subgenera was only broadly supported. The phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data strongly supported two clades, a Eurasian clade and a mostly North America clade. Members of both clades occur in East Asia (China, Japan & Russia). Within the Eurasian clade seven of the proposed subgenera were recognised at the sectional or series level. The main centre of diversity is in temperate East Asian, specifically the Sino-Japanese Floristic Region.

Boissier 1882


Day et al. (2014) extended the molecular analysis of Rønsted et al. from 37 to 92 Fritillaria taxa. This study provided further support for the work of Rønsted et al. including the polyphyly of the large subgenera Fritillaria which resolved into two well supported clades, a mostly western Eurasian clade and an East Asian clade.


Day et al. 2014

Molecular Phylogenetic Relationship of Subfamilia Lilioideae

subfamilia Liliodeae

Relationship tree addapted from:
Day et al. 2014, Gao et al.(2011), Gao et al. (2013)a, Gao et al. (2013)b, Gao & Gao (2016), Hayashi & Kawano (2000),
İkinci et al. (2006), Nishikawa et al. (2001), Rønsted et al. (2005), Zarrei et al. (2009).

Subgeneric classification as inferred by Day et al. 2014

Fritillaria genetic tree

Baker. 1874. J. Linn. Soc. 14:211 – 310, Bentham & Hooker. 1883. Genera Plantarum 3:817 – 818, Boissier. 1882. Flora Orientalis 5:176 – 190, Day el al. 2014. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 80:11-19, İkinci et al. 2006. Willdenowia 36:647 – 656, Gao et al. 2011. Plant Syst. Evol. 298:69-85, Gao et al. 2013(a). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 68: 443-460, Gao et al. 2013 (b) Ann. Bot. Fennici 50: 187-194, Gao & Gao 2016. Phytotaxa 277:205-210, Hayashi & Kawano. 2000. Pl. Sp. Biol. 15:73 – 93. , Nishikawa et al. 2001. Breeding Science 51: 39 – 46, Rix. 2001. Fritillaria Group of the Alpine Garden Society, UK, Rønsted et al. 2005. Molecular Phylogen. Evol. 35:509 – 527, Turrill & Sealy. 1980. Hooker's Icones Plantarum 39:265 – 273, Zarrei et al. 2009. Ann. Bot. 104:125 – 142.

Copyright Laurence Hill