Snakes Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris) has alternate, sharply pointed, grey-green, linear leaves, 6-13cm (2.5-5in) long. The flowers, which are produced in spring from late March to May, are usually solitary but can sometimes be paired. They are pendulous, rather "square-shouldered" and bell-shaped, up to 4.5cm (1.75in) long and are carried on stalks of about 30 cms. Colours vary from pink to purple or pinkish-purple with characteristic checkerboard markings.
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. It prefers moist soil with a reasonable organic matter content and dappled shade.
Please note that these bulbs are predominantly shades of purple with pink checkerboard markings. It is possible that there may be the odd white one in the mix, but if you want white flowers, please take a look at our page on Fritillaria meleagris Alba
Fritillaries may or may not be English natives (it is disputed), but they were first described in writing in this country in the 16th century.