Fritillaria Meleagris

General description: These charming bulbs are also known as Snakeshead Lilies, and thrive in water meadows, which is their natural habitat. Their bell shaped flowers, which are carried on long stems, come in two colours, white  and a mottled purple. 

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Where best to plant: Remembering that their natural habitat is water meadows it is clear that they like to flower in an open position, but in one where the soil does not dry out. Our experience is that given a choice between these two requirements we choose the damp spot, rather than the sunny. They prefer heavy soil to light, again because of the tendency of light soils to dry out. As you may imagine they are very happy in grass, but would object intensely to being mown!

Planting hints: The bulbs often show signs of a blue coloured mould, which is quite normal. Plant 5 inches deep, in groups. The bulbs should be firm, and if possible avoid splitting them when planting.

Variety information: Nothing much to add to what is shown above.

Other useful facts: We find that Fritillaria Meleagris is quite difficult to establish, and there seem to be no rules to guarantee success. In other words they can be difficult, and some of our customers say that they never get any flowers at all. That said we also find they pop up in our garden in places where we cannot remember ever planting any, so that is the other side of the coin.