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Snakeshead Fritillary

Fritillaria meleagris

Chequered daffodil, Chequered lily, Drooping tulip, Guinea flower, Guinea-hen flower, Leper lily, Snake heads

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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 the official flower of the Uppland region of Sweden, where it grows in large quantities every spring.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Allow seed heads to dry on plants, then remove and collect seeds. Properly cleaned, seed can be stored in dry conditions.

Propagation

Seed
Sow into pots in a cold frame in autumn as it needs winter cold to initiate germination in spring. Plant 10cm+ apart.

Special features

Wet sites
Commonly found in meadows subject to winter flooding, as well as damp grasslands.

Geography

Origin
Europe Western Asia
Natural climate
Temperate

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Ornamental
Grown as a spring flowering bulb.

Personality

Family
Liliaceae
Flower colour
Purples, Pink, White
Scent
Mild

Problems

Prone to slugs and lily beetle. Generally disease-free.
Slug
Deroceras reticulatum

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