Snake's Head Fritillary
Also known as
Chequered Daffodil, Snake's Head, Guinea-Hen Flower, Chequer Lily, Chess Flower, Leper Lily, Lazarus Bells, Checkered lily, Guinea-head flower, Fritillary
Photo by AlanGardenMaster (All rights reserved)
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a mild fragrance
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Snake's Head Fritillary Overview
Fritillaria meleagris is a bulbous perennial species that typically grows to around 30cm tall, it produces lance-shaped, green-grey leaves and delicate nodding flowers. The flowers are produced early in spring, they have attractive checkered patterning, typically coloured white and purple. The plant's name 'fritillaria' comes from the Latin 'fritillus', meaning dice-box. This presumably refers to the unmistakable chequered/dotted pattern of the flower. This plant was often harvested from meadows in the United Kingdom to be sold for decoration at 16th & 17th Century markets. It is widely naturalised across the UK, however, it is not thought to be a true native species. It is the official flower of the Uppland region of Sweden, where it grows in large quantities every spring.
Common problems with Snake's Head Fritillary
Prone to slugs and lily beetle. Generally disease-free.
Snake's Head Fritillary Companion Plants
How to harvest Snake's Head Fritillary
Allow seed heads to dry on plants, then remove and collect seeds. Properly cleaned, seed can be stored in dry conditions.
How to propagate Snake's Head Fritillary
Sow into pots in a cold frame in autumn as it needs winter cold to initiate germination in spring. Plant 10cm+ apart.
Special features of Snake's Head Fritillary
Commonly found in meadows subject to winter flooding, as well as damp grasslands.
Other uses of Snake's Head Fritillary
Rock garden, border, wildflower/meadow
Grown as a spring flowering bulb.
Looking Good in April - Top 10
Traditionally flowering in April, these flowers will be at their best this month.Explore all