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White Snakes Head Fritillary

Key Data
Misc RHS AGM, Wildlife Value
Shade Partial Shade
Area Coastal Areas, Exposed Windy Areas, Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Colour White/Cream
Type Native
Flowering Mar, Apr, May

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Fritillaria meleagris Alba

White Snakes Head Fritillaries carry beautifully shaped, pure white flowers between March and May, depending on location. These are usually solitary but where the plant is especially happy and the bulb is large, there can be multiple flowers which like those of the more common Snakeshead Fritillary are pendulous, rather "square-shouldered" and bell-shaped and can be up to 4.5cm (1.75in) long. The flower stem is about 30 cms tall. The blooms are accompanied by alternate, pointed, greyish-green leaves shaped like blades of grass up to 15 cms (6") long.

Fritillaria meleagris is one of the plants in our range of spring flowering bulbs that naturalises well in grass and along the edges of hedgerows and woodland. It multiplies by division and self-seeds when it is happy. All Snakeshead Fritillaries prefer moist soil with a reasonable organic matter content and do best in dappled shade.

Fritillaria in Short

  • Flower Colour: White
  • Height: 30 cms
  • Scent: None
  • Flowering: March-May
  • Bulb Size: 5-6cms
  • Planting Depth: 12-15 cms
  • Planting Months: September-November
  • Position: Dapples shade, under hedges. Good in longer grass
  • RHS AGM

Fritillary trivia

The name derives from the Latin word fritillus which is a dice-box which the flower's shape somewhat resembles. No to be confused, of course, with Fritillary butterflies which were probably named thus because their markings bear some resemblance to those on dice.

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