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Fritillaria meleagris AGM

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© RHS 1993

Characteristics

Plant type

Bulb

Habit

Columnar/Upright

Origin

Native to the UK

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Pink and Purple in Spring

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0-0.1 metre

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

snake's head fritillary

Family

Liliaceae


Fritillaria are bulbous herbaceous perennials with lance-shaped or linear leaves and nodding bell-shaped or bowl-shaped flowers that may be solitary or in racemes or umbels

F. meleagris is a bulbous perennial to 30cm in height, with lance-shaped, greyish-green leaves and 1-2 nodding, bell-shaped purple flowers, the tepals tessellated with pale pink in a checkerboard fashion

Other common names

  • chequered daffodil
  • chequered lily
  • drooping tulip
  • guinea flower
  • guinea-hen flower
  • leper lily
  • snake heads

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grows well in most fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soils and prefers cool, moist summers. Handle the fragile bulbs carefully and plant at four times own depth. Suitable for rock garden, raised bed or naturalising in grass

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown in pots in a cold frame in autumn. Needs exposure to winter cold for germination in spring. Division of offsets can be done in late summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Rock Garden or Wildflower meadow


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Prone to slugs and lily beetle

Diseases

Generally disease free