Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Fritillaria's Floral Diversity

Fritillaria meleagris on mass in the long grass

Fritillaria meleagris (Snake's Head Fritillary)

From the dainty 'meleagris', the elegant 'persica' to the flamboyant 'imperialis' the flowers of the Fritillaria are adding a touch of floral diversity in the college gardens at the moment. At the far end of the Provost's garden the distinctive, dainty purple or white chequerboard bell shaped flowers of the many hundreds of snakes head fritillary, Fritillaria meleagris, can be seen are nodding above the uncut, long grass below.

Fritillaria persica

Fritillaria persica flower spike

In the border at the rear of the kitchen the elegant Fritillaria persica can be found with its tall raceme (spike), 60-100cm in height, of deep purple nodding bells. This plant is a new introduction to the gardens and a worthy addition to the growing number of fritillary on show.

Fritillaria imperialis 'Aurora'

At the base of an old Holm Oak, the flamboyance is provided by the Crown Imperial, Fritillaria imperialis 'Aurora' and 'Lutea', with orange and yellow flowers respectively. At the top of erect stems, 60-90cm in height, a cluster of bell shaped flowers hang beneath a crown of leaves. All look so different but all are Fritillaria.  

Fritillaria imperealis 'Lutea'

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