Fritillaria meleagris
(Snake's Head Fritillary)

Family - Liliaceae
Category - Bulb
Origin - Southern England to Southeastern Europe, Western Russia
Season of Interest - Spring
Hardiness - H5
Height - up to 30cm
Width - 5cm
Location - The Orchard, The Stream Area, The Topiary Meadow

Description: A bulbous Perennial with slender, vertical stems. Waxy, grey-green leaves are linear in shape and are produced up the stems. Pendent, bell to cup-shaped flowers can be found in shades of white, pink or maroon and have a distinctive chequered pattern on the petals. Flowers that are maroon or pink will have a white chequered pattern, and often white flowers will have a green pattern. The Blooms are held singly or in pairs at the tips of the stems and are produced in mid-spring. Attractive to pollinating insects.

Fritillus means 'dice-box' in Latin, which is a reference to the markings on the flowers of this species. Meleagris means spotted like Guinea fowl.

Additional common names include - Snake Lily, Chequered Lily

Gallery Images:


One or two pendent, cup-shaped flowers are held at the top of the vertical stems in April. Flowers may vary in colour from maroon, pink or white and have distinctive chequered patterns in either white or green, depending on the flower colour. Maroon or pink flowers will have a white pattern, whereas white flowers will often have a green pattern, though occasionally purple, or no pattern at all.

Flower colour: Red, pink, white

Flower shape: Bell to cup-shaped flowers

Flowering time: April


Grey-green, linear leaves are arranged Alternately up the slender, vertical stems.

Foliage Senescence: Deciduous

Foliage Shape: Linear


Seed, division (separation) of offsets.


Best in full sun to partial shade in fertile, moisture-retentive soil that is well-drained.