Snake’s head fritillary

Last week, we planted 100 snake’s head fritillary bulbs in Lambrok Meadow and Village Green.

Snake’s head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) is a native lily that likes to grow in damp grazed grassland and hay meadows. The species flowers early in the spring and, once it is established, we hope it will set seed before our tenant farmer cuts the grass for hay in the summer. If we have the timing right, the plants will seed and spread. A field of snake’s head fritillary is a wonderful sight!

Some authorities believe that the name Fritillaria comes from the Latin word for dice-box, fritillus, either because of the chequered pattern on the flowers or their hexagonal shape. The name meleagris means “spotted like a guinea-fowl,” and the common name, snake’s head, probably refers to the snakelike appearance of the flower buds .

Snake’s head fritillaries are classified as Vulnerable on the Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain.

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