Interesting Plant: Fritillaria meleagris (Snake’s head fritillary/Guinea Hen Flower)
Fritillaria meleagris is a Eurasian species of flowering plant in the lily family. Its common names include snake’s head fritillary, snake’s head (the original English name), chess flower, frog-cup, guinea-hen flower, guinea flower, leper lily (because its shape resembled the bell once carried by lepers), Lazarus bell, chequered lily, chequered daffodil, drooping tulip or, in northern Europe, simply fritillary. The plant is native to the flood river plains of Europe where it grows in abundance.
The name Fritillaria comes from the Latin fritillus meaning dice-box, possibly referring to the chequered pattern on the flowers although this derivation has been disputed. The name meleagris means “spotted like a guineafowl“. The common name “snake’s head” probably refers to the somewhat snakelike appearance of the nodding flower heads, especially when in bud, on their long stems. Vita Sackville-West called it “a sinister little flower, in the mournful colour of decay”. — Wikipedia
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- Fritillaria meleagris via Wikipedia
- Fritillaria meleagris via University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Fritillaria meleagris via Dave’s Garden
Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas