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Fritillaria meleagris

Snake's head fritillary

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Key information

Plant type

Spring-blooming bulb

Flower colour






Skill level


Fritillaria meleagris

Plant details

Snake's head fritillaries always excite attention wherever they are seen. None of the other lovely members of the fritillaria genus can match this native wildflower for the bizarre and unmistakable colouring of its bell-shaped flowers. They are various shades of purple, always with a pronounced checked pattern all over, and even the luminous white form has a faint check pattern like a watermark. Plants are extremely hardy and trouble-free in free-draining soil, and love the light shade of woodland conditions - planted in drifts under shrubs or naturalised in grass. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Liliaceae

Genus: Fritillaria

Species: meleagris

Plant type: Spring-blooming bulb

Flower colour: Mixed

Foliage colour: Mid-green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Experienced

Height: 30cm

Spread: 5cm

Time to divide plants: August to September

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