Can’t get enough of Fritillaria meleagris (Snake’s Head Fritillary)

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Feast your eyes on Fritillaria meleagris, one of the most beautiful flowers not only of spring but overall–in my humble opinion. In our garden, the bulbs we planted in containers have since been distributed as they were planted out with their companions so now they are popping up in the seemingly most random places. We don’t have many so even though I want to snip them by the bundle I have to refrain so they can also be enjoyed outdoors. Snake’s Head Fritillary (or Guinea-Hen Flower, Checkered Lily, or Chess Flower as they’re sometimes called) have grass-like leaves and bell shaped blossoms with a distinctive checkerboard pattern. Sometimes they are white. The name Fritillaria “comes from the Latin word fritillus, meaning dice box (which were formerly chequered)” (source). I’ve learned that in our garden they prefer sun to part shade and damp soil and tend to bloom right after the Forsythia and cherry blossoms have passed their peak. According to Kew.orgFritillaria meleagris has been cultivated as early as the Tudor period and seen in the wild since the 18th century but is now “considered to be extinct in the Czech Republic and threatened in Romania, the Ukraine, Hungary, Switzerland and Slovakia.”  I plan on purchasing more for fall planting as these are flowers I can never seem to get enough of!

5 thoughts on “Can’t get enough of Fritillaria meleagris (Snake’s Head Fritillary)

  1. Oh my gosh – so pretty! You are now ahead of us, as you usually are …but even so, I don’t think I have any of those in my garden. Maybe one or two will hitch a ride in the car sometime as we drive by your house! Or maybe they could just fly into another dimension and land here – but that is a whole another story in itself isn’t it?

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