Fritillaria meleagris

("Snake's-head fritillaria / Guinea-hen flower / Checkered lily")

Fritillaria meleagris

F. meleagris bears little resemblance to F. imperialis. Bulbs and foliage are odorless. These fritillarias are usually sold as mixed colors; shades of purple and white. Ocassionally you may find the lovely white variety 'Alba' available for sale. The species is native to Europe where bulbs usually grow in very moist locations. Add upgraded black peat to improve your soil for better conditions and don't disturb the plants for best results. Create an ideal situation by introducing sphagnum peat between the plants to allow seeds to germinate.

What You Need To Know Before You Plant:

When Will This Flower Bloom?

Mid-Late Spring

When Should I Buy and Plant These Bulbs?


What Kind of Light Does This Bulb Prefer?

Full or partial shade

What Color Will the Flower Be?

Mixed shades of dark purple and white

How Far Apart Should I Plant These Bulbs?

3 in / 8 cm

How Deep Should I Dig?

4 in / 10 cm

How Tall Will It Grow?

14-16 in / 35-40 cm

Recommended Number of Bulbs Per Square Foot?


Is It Deer/Critter Resistant?


How Can I Best Use It in My Landscaping?

In borders, rock gardens, lawns, under trees and shrubs, and perennial beds.

What Should I Do After Flowering?

Allow the foliage to die down on its own and it will form seed pods and self-sow.

Other Popular Varieties

(Besides the species itself); 'Alba' (white).

About the Family

Fritillaria Family

Fritillaria is a genus that consists of about 100 species. They are native to the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere. The name is derived from the Latin name for a dice-box (fritillus) and probably refers to the checkered pattern, quite often of chocolate brown and greenish-yellow, that is common in the flowers of many species.

Read More About the Family