Fritillary time is here again!

Snakeshead fritillary or Fritillaria meleagris are once again the stars of the woodland for a few weeks Drifts of snowdrops have given way to drifts of narcissus and now these are handing over the baton to the fritillaries.

Someone once asked me how many I have – I have no idea and wouldn’t like to count them!

I will be sprinkling their seed further this year as I’m finding that they are coming up in drier soil than I imagined they would like.

The white ones show up very well, but there are far fewer of them.

There seem to be all shades, from white through to darkest purple.

Wood anemones seem to like the same growing conditions as they are spreading nicely too.

Rusty pheasant has been on guard duty ever since the buds started forming, but I have to be honest, I haven’t heard or seen the pheasant this year at all, maybe he has been frightened away permanently!

Seedlings are coming up across the 2 paths , I think there was quite a wind one year when I was sprinkling seed!

The flowers in the drier part of the woodland aren’t as tall as the ones in the permanently damp soil, but I don’t mind, they are lovely whatever their height.

Not having any problems with the real pheasants, I now must be on my guard for the dreaded red lily beetle which likes fritillaries too!

So far the fritillaries have survived unscathed and I am enjoying wandering round and round them, I can do that now I have a circular path! Each day I am finding more that have jumped the path and are starting their own little colonies a short distance from the main one, how far will they spread I wonder?

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18 Responses to Fritillary time is here again!

  1. Denise says:

    I have been looking forward to your Fritillary post and it certainly doesn’t dissapoint. It’s lovely with all the different shades and the white in between. My favourite though is the deep purple. Its also nice to hear that rusty pheasant has done such a good job! Hope you don’t get dizzy going round and round….lol!

    • Pauline says:

      Happy to oblige Denise, I’m very pleased with them at the moment. I don’t think I’ll get dizzy, I’m going too slowly for that, admiring too many little gems on the woodland floor, but its nice being able to see them from the other side now. I like all the purple ones as long as there yellow or white plants nearby to lift the colour.

  2. Cathy says:

    Lovely to see your fritillaries again Pauline! I hope the pheasant has found something tastier elsewhere! 😉

  3. Paddy says:

    I share your joy at seeing the fritillarias coming into flower at this time of the year. I grow them in grass, a follow-on from snowdrops and crocus and, presently, with some old daffodil cultivars. They have an elegance about them which makes them so very special and enjoyable. Like you, we continue to scatter seed here and they are so very obliging to grow well for us.

    • Pauline says:

      Mine are also following on from snowdrops and narcissus Paddy, in a small strip of woodland that we have at the bottom of the garden.I will be spreading seed further this year, not just in the damp areas that we have, and will have to be patient and see what comes up. Nice to hear from you.

  4. Peter says:

    It’s fritillary time and it certainly looks grand in your garden.

  5. Anne says:

    Fritillaries are my favourites too but I only have a few yet. Yours look lovely.

    • Pauline says:

      Will you be able to scatter your seed Anne? It will take about 3 years for the seedlings to flower, but it is worth the wait. Thank you for getting in touch.

  6. Cathy says:

    Oh these look even more lovely in a large colony, Pauline – thanks for sharing them, even though some of the photos aren’t visible. I am on my laptop this time and it still seems to be an issue

  7. snowbird says:

    Wow, so very beautiful. I love these, my favourite spring flowers.

  8. Diana Studer says:

    Magnificent – such a generous display!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks you Diana, the seedlings are coming on well, it takes 3 years to get to flowering size, so hopefully each year there will be more.

  9. Chloris says:

    What a joy to have such a sea of fritillaries and all with their heads still on. The pheasants here are such vandals, they pick the heads off primroses, the unusual celandines and most industriously of all, fritillaries. Lovely post

    • Pauline says:

      Yes, I’m lucky this year Chloris, I’m only just beginning to hear him faintly across the fields and am hoping that he stays there! As you say, they are vandals, just ripping petals here and there for no apparant reason, maybe mine being in a woodland situation are more protected, rather than in the open garden.

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