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Checkered Lily – Fritillaria meleagris

Add a bit of unexpected beauty to the spring garden with checkered lily.

Checkered lily, like other members of the Fritillaria group, have fairly unique blooms. Its other common names Snake’s Head Fritillaria and Guinea Hen Flower also relate to the unique flowers. The downward facing bell shaped flowers are covered with shades of purple, gray and white to create a checkered pattern on the blooms. The plants grow 9 to 15 inches tall and flower in mid spring.

Checkered lily prefers full sun to partial shade and moist rich soil, even when dormant. They are hardy in zones 3 to 8 and spread readily. Take advantage of their spreading nature by planting en masse or allow them to naturalize in the garden bed.

Make a note to plant some of these bulbs in fall along with other spring flowering bulbs like daffodils, squills and grape hyacinths.

A bit more information: Their small size makes them perfect additions to perennial beds. The void left in the garden and their declining foliage is easily masked by the surrounding plants.


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