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When the word fritillary is not being used to name a butterfly, it refers instead to several species of flowers, members of the Lily family, in particular the gorgeous Snake’s-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris). Interestingly, the Oxford Dictionary gives the following explanation of the word’s origin: ‘Mid 17th century from modern Latin fritillaria, from Latin fritillus “dice box” (probably with reference to the chequered corolla of the snake’s head fritillary).’ I was surprised to find several Snake’s-head fritillaries in flower today, in a location I’ve not seen them before, almost certainly planted rather than wild but beautiful just the same.

220320 snake's-head fritillary