Fritillaria meleagris

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Snake's Head Fritillary
Fritillaria meleagris LJ barje2.jpg
Fritillaria meleagris (Snake's Head Fritillary)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae
Genus: Fritillaria
Species: F. meleagris
Binomial name
Fritillaria meleagris

Fritillaria meleagris (Snake's Head Fritillary, Checkered Daffodil, Chess Flower, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen Flower, Leper Lily, Snake's Head (the original English name) or (in northern Europe) simply Fritillary) is a Fritillary, a flower from the family Liliaceae.

The flower has a chequered reddish-brown, purple, white and grey colouration, sometimes mostly white. It flowers from March to May and grows between 15 and 40 cm in height. It has a round bulb, about 2 cm in diameter which contains poisonous alkaloids.

The plant is commonly found growing in grasslands in damp soils and river meadows. It can be found at altitudes up to 800 metres.

It is native to Europe, but in many places, including France, Slovenia and Romania it is an endangered species that is rarely found in the wild, but is common in horticulturists' gardens. In Croatia the flower is known as Kockavica and is part of the country's national symbol. It is the only species of Fritillary native to Britain, growing in traditional grass meadows. Due to changing land usage, it is now quite rare in the wild. The Meadow of Magdalen College, Oxford, the village of Ducklington, Oxfordshire (which holds a Fritillary Sunday festival), and the North Meadow National Nature Reserve, Wiltshire are some of the best locations to view this flower.

The Leper Lily is the official flower of the Swedish province of Uppland, where it grows in large quantities every spring at the meadows in Kungsängen, just outside Uppsala, also giving the flower its Swedish name, kungsängslilja.

In Sandemar strandängar (Sandemar beach meadows), a nature reserve west of the village Dalarö in Stockholm archipelago in Sweden has the Snake's Head Fritillary also found a locale where it can flourish in abundance.

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