The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Snakehead Fritillary
Fritillaria meleagris is a Bulb up to 0.30 metres tall.
It has medicinal uses.
The bulb is poisonous[
Europe, including Britain, from Sweden south and west to France, Serbia and the Lower Volga.
Damp meadows and pastures[
], especially on alkaline soils[
Prefers a moist non-acid soil and a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in any soil, preferring a light soil with plenty of humus[
]. Succeeds in sun or light shade[
]. Grows well in short turf[
A very ornamental plant[
], it often self-sows when in a suitable position.
Rabbits are very fond of this plant and will destroy it wholesale if given the opportunity[
A good plant for the spring meadow[
]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[
Plants should not be allowed to dry out in the summer[
The plant formerly had a reputation as a healing herb, but is not used at present[
Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring[
]. Protect from frost[
]. Stored seed should be sown as soon as possible and can take a year or more to germinate[
]. Sow the seed quite thinly to avoid the need to prick out the seedlings. Once they have germinated, give them an occasional liquid feed to ensure that they do not suffer mineral deficiency. Once they die down at the end of their second growing season, divide up the small bulbs, planting 2 - 3 to an 8cm deep pot. Grow them on for at least another year in light shade in the greenhouse before planting them out whilst dormant.
Division of offsets in August[
]. The larger bulbs can be planted out direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out in the autumn.