Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Fritillaria meleagris

I was very surprised to see the snake's head fritillaries in flower  - the end of March beginning of April feels too soon.  
I shall now have to be extra vigilant, their arrival marks the return of the naughty red lily beetle, the bane of any lily growers life.
And then I came to a field where the springing grass
Was dulled by the hanging cups of fritillaries,
Sullen and foreign-looking, the snaky flower,
Scarfed in dull purple, like Egyptian girls
camping among the furze...
Vita Sackville-West (1892 - 1962)
When light slants before the sunset, this is
The proper time to watch fritillaries.
They entered creeping; you go on your knees,
The flowers level with your eyes,
And catch the dapple of sunlight through the petals...
Anne Ridler (1912 - 2001)

42 comments:

  1. Such a lovely photo. You have started my day well. B x

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  2. Everything is different this year, no winter, high temperatures, a very early spring... But the flowers look wonderful to watch at.

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  3. I know where you got that paragraph divider from. I went there to get one for my business cards.

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  4. Never knew about the beetle pest. I was intending to grow some this year as I had bulbs but too late now. Hard to get compost with the lock-down although I've found some eventually.

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    1. I wondered whether or not you have the lily beetle in Scotland, but apparently you have had them since 2002. It is a question of having to squash them, a bit cruel, otherwise they eat them and lay lots of eggs on the leaves which turn into a nasty fat orange lavae.

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  5. Beautiful we came across some on our daily walk yesterday too. Sarah x

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    1. I was really surprised when I spotted them as I hadn't even noticed that they were in bud.

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  6. Dear Rosemary,
    A beautiful shot of your gorgeous Fritillaria. You must have "approached on your knees" for that fabulous photo. I have grown Fritillaria but they never did well.

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    1. Dear Gina - do they grow in The States? I planted a small packet of bulbs many years ago, and now I have lots. Having said that, rather unusually the alba ones are not so plentiful this year.

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    2. They do grow in this climate but complain when an especially dry and cold winter comes along.

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    3. I can appreciate that they would not enjoy that - the wild ones here grow in marshy undisturbed meadows often with a river flowing through.

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  7. They're beautiful! I don't think I've ever seen them here.

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    1. They remind me of the little bell hats worn by pixies and fairies.

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  8. My snakesheads are flowering beautifully at the moment. Lily beetles are the bane of my life and we are always vigilant as soon as I spot the first ones appearing

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    1. I expect, like me, you have found them difficult to catch, if they fall to the ground then they roll over to hide their red coats so that they become impossible to spot.

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  9. You must have some happy little fairies with such pretty hats! I've never seen them either! Beautiful capture photo.

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    1. They are lovely aren't they? I also have some pretty cream ones too.

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  10. I have a few pictures of snake's head fritillaries, most of them from the first two weeks of April - though I may have taken them because I thought they were early too. Nice to see them whatever time they appear - not so the red lily beetle though!

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    1. Perhaps I am wrong about them being early - I seem to have lost all sense of time at the moment.

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  11. Dearest Rosemary,
    You sure went at the flowers' level with your lens for capturing this perfect fritillaries picture!
    Enjoy these little wonders and stay well.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - they give me joy. I spotted them as I wandered around the garden just before sunset arrived.
      Be safe both of you.

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  12. They are wonderful - a joy to the eye.

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  13. Lovely flowers and so very different.
    Keep safe and well Rosemary.

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  14. Fritillaria meleagris is new for me to see. You took the photos of them at the best time of a day. Each flower are luminous, looks like a lovely lamp shade. Stay safe and well.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - a lamp shade is a very good description. Now that I think about it, they do resemble some of the designs by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the American artist/designer.

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  15. Dear Rosemary, I love fritillaria so much - and manage every year (except of this one...) to have a pot on my balcony. (I put them later into the earth outside) It reminds me of times when I saw them flowering in meadows, long time ago - and as a child I was fascinated by the checkered blossom (is blossom the right word here? sounds strange). Thank you for the quotes - I adore the writings of Vita (and of course visited her garden at Sissinghurst), but did not know Anne Riddler. That gives me something to look up here at home!

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    1. Dear Britta - in the future you will be able to plant some more, and enjoy their pretty heads nodding away on your balcony once again.
      I hope you enjoy discovering more about Anne Riddler. She was a poet and an editor at Faber & Faber. She had many well known friends who were connected to the literary world.

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    2. Lately lots of plants seem to bloom too early and everything at the same time. Climate change doesn't forgive. But your Fritillaria's are a lovely sight anytime .

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    3. They do lift my spirits Jane.

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  16. Perhaps climate change will signal an earlier arrival of other plants too. Premature or not I am sure it was a joy to find them. Stay well, Rosemary. Miriam and I just returned from a walk and saw our first Mourning Cloak, not especially early it seems, but uplifting nonetheless. People are the trail were all moving over to maintain the two metre recommended distance between us and them, as were we of course. A visitor from another planet would have deemed us all an unfriendly bunch!

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    1. I have just looked up a Mourning Cloak and what a beautiful butterfly it is. It can be quite intimidating trying to negotiate the 2 metre distance, it feels unfriendly. We were told on the news yesterday that scientists now say that this wretched virus can actually travel upto 8 meters,the facts change day by day.

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  17. I am looking at this flower for the first time in my life . Looks nice but different

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    1. They are rather unique little flowers - I am pleased that you thought that they were nice.

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  18. I have never seen these flowers, but the view with the sun shining through is beautiful.

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    1. I love their chequered petal markings - I took the photo as the evening sun was going down.

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  19. One of my very favorite flowers, Thank you for reminding me of the lily beetles. I will check my plants.

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