Friday, March 30, 2012

Snake's Head

Snake's Head Fritillaria meleagris is described in most floras as being 'doubtfully native' in Britain and because it's so commonly planted it's difficult to be sure whether plants within its supposedly 'natural' range, in the Thames Valley, are 'wild' plants. It's been seeding itself around my garden in Durham ever since I first planted it, about 20 years ago, and this year's crop of flowers have been opening earlier than usual during the current heatwave, attracting numerous bumblebees that visit the flowers for nectar. This is the bee's-eye view of the nodding flower, showing ripe stamens and a stigma with three lobes curling backwards, ready to receive pollen from a visiting bee.

For some more exotic Fritillaria species, click here

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