The Fritillaria Meleagris - commonly known as the Snake's Head Lily, Chess Flower, Leper Lily or, simply, Fritillary - is a rare European wild flower usually found in grassy meadows.
Its nodding, bell-shaped flowers are imprinted with a delicate pattern reminiscent of snakeskin or a chequer board. The fritillary's flowers range from this deep mauve shade, through lighter purple tones, to pale creamy white. Even the almost luminous white flowers show the same faint chequered pattern, almost like a watermark upon their fragile petals.
Now an endangered species in the UK (and much of Europe), it is rare to see these beautiful plants growing in the wild. However, they are still found in the gardens of enthusiasts and I am proud to say this wonderful specimen still flowers at my parents' home.
I planted the bulbs around 14 years ago when I was just a wee girl and it gives me such a thrill to see the delicate flowers still raising their heads, year in year out.
It is nice to know that, in spite of all the change that occurs in our lives, some things remain constant and true, reminding us that there is stability and security all around us, should we need to ground ourselves every once in a while.