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  Snake's Head Fritillaries

Snake's Head Fritillary - Photo  Copyright 2007 G. Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
An excellent place to see wild Snake's Head Fritillaries is North Meadow at Cricklade in Wiltshire

Latin name: Fritillaria meleagris

Size: Grows to a height of around 40cms.

Distribution: Found mainly in the south and east of England, especially Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.

Flowering months: April to May

Habitat: Meadows, pastures and open woods.

Special features: The Snake's Head Fritillary, is a native of the U.K., found in meadows and pastures in the southern and eastern counties of England, mainly in Oxfordshire.

Sometimes called the 'Checkered Lily', 'Chequered Daffodil', 'Lazarus Bell' and 'Leper Lily', referring to the bell shape of the flowers, similar to the bells carried by lepers in medieval times.

Snake's head fritillaries used to be more common, but with ground drained for agriculture, gravel extraction and development, the wild colonies are now few and far between. 

None of the other fritillaria genus can match this native wildflower for it's bizarre chequered pattern which really does have a reptilian look about it. They appear mostly in shades of purple overlaying pale silvery scales.

Click for a better viewSome are coloured creamy-white, but when the light shines through them you notice that even these ones have a pale chequered watermark.

Click for a better viewLook out for rare double headed specimens which have two flowers growing from one stem.

Click for more infoGuide to Grassland Plants 1

A beautifully illustrated fold-out guide enabling you to identify 64 species of grassland plants. Fully laminated and suitable for all ages.
Our Price 3.50 - Buy one now

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  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved