Snakeshead Fritillary

03/04/2019
Snakeshead fritillaries are flowering early this year, no doubt thanks to our mild winter. Many at Upper Waterhay Meadow, adjacent to the River Thames in Wiltshire, are white (Fritllaria meleagris alba), though this one retains a hint of chequered pattern. It astonishes me how such a delicate plant can survive being hard frozen by April frost, which we had early this morning. This ability enables them to flower before other grass and other plants outcompete them later in spring.