Snake's Head Fritillary


Fritillaria meleagris, Checkered Daffodil, Frog-cup, Guinea-hen Flower, or Leper Lily.


This is a pretty amazing story!


I have had the photo collage shown above posted on the front page
for two or three years, enjoying it every time I open the page.



Some years ago I was told that a rare flower was blooming not far from my work. Of coarse I took the car and drove out on my lunch to have a look.


 After only a short walk from the parking place at Sandemar Shore Meadows, a nature reserve just west of the village Dalarö in the Stockholm archipelago, I found the flowers, in abundance and in every direction beside the path.



It was difficult to chose suitable flowers to photograph. I did actually find the even rarer white ones, a dozen or so.
The same evening I think, Margarita and I went out to Sandemar together.


SnakesHeadFritillaryKungsängslilja (00).JPG (302112 byte)


Judge of my surprise this evening Tuesday April 29, 2008, when I catch a glimpse of something strange on our front yard, in the grass under an old Rowanberry Tree and between a Sugar Top Spruce, American Cedar, Tuia, Rhododendron, and a recently cut down Shrubby Cinquefoil hedge, not to forget the Rose Bush that gone wild, and in the middle of all this on an area of maybe 20 square meters, a tiny little reddish bell.

No, it can't be a... I'm kneeling down putting the glasses on... it is really a Snake's Head Lilly!
Right on our front yard! Why? How?

I have now fenced it in, protecting it from happy boys and cats and dogs, and Neighbours! :-)


SnakesHeadFritillaryKungsängslilja (01).JPG (199577 byte)
The Snake's Head is said to have been introduced to Sweden from The Netherlands in the mid seventeenth century by Olof Rudbeck Senior, (or as we say, the elder).
He planted them in the Botanical Garden in Uppsala.




The flower has apparently spread itself to the low wet meadow along the Fyris Stream south of the city  Uppsala called Kungsängen (Kings Meadow) which probably also is the reason it was given the Swedish name Kungsängslilja.
Or, perhaps it spread to Kungsängen when they changed the soil in the Botanical Garden?


It's said that the flower is common in the eastern centerpart of Sweden (Svealand), but to my knowledge it's almost only to be found, in abundance anyway, in Kungsängen and Sandemar.

Correct me if I'm wrong!


SnakesHeadFritillaryKungsangslilja (02).JPG (216275 byte) Today Wednesday afternoon the 30th, it has opened.
Isn't it marvellous?


SnakesHeadFritillaryKungsangslilja (03).JPG (187806 byte)