BAA053 Group of Snakeshead Fritillaries. Image shot 2009. Exact date unknown.There’s really no other plant quite like the snake’s head fritillary. With it’s chequerboard patterned petals and gently drooping head, its delicate beauty can be found gracing wild flower meadows in April and May in the UK. Sadly as many of our wild flower meadows have been dug up or drained in recent decades, this beautiful little flower has become harder to see.

But there are still places where they can be seen in profusion, and they are also easy to grow in your own back garden, given a cool, moist, well drained position.

So if you’re looking for some wild inspiration, a place where you can see these little jewels of the meadow in their natural habitat, then read on.


Heckfield Estate – near Hook, Hampshire, RG27 OLJ

On 21st April, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Meet at the Wellington Farm Shop (where they serve delicious coffee and cakes!) before walking a short distance to see the flowers. Booking is required. Please call 01256 326364 or email ruthmcairns@uk2.net

Suggested donation £3.00. Those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility please contact the estate office in advance. No dogs please.


snakes head wakehurstWakehurst Place – Ardingly, West Sussex, RH17 6TN

You can see a fine display of over 1,600 snake’s head fritillary bulbs every day in the bog garden at Wakehurst in April and May. For those who are really devoted to the humble snake’s head fritillary there is also the opportunity to sponsor the meadow planting at Wakehurst. See here for details.

Wakehurst is open daily from 10am. See here for entry fees, and here for closing times.


Kew Gardens – Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB

30,000 ‘snake’s head’ bulbs can be seen along the Princess Walk and the Riverside Walk at Kew gardens each spring. For more information about see the page here.

For entry prices at Kew see the website here. Kew is open daily from 10 am. For specific closing times please see the website pages here.


snakes north meadow crickladeCricklade North Meadow, Cricklade, Wiltshire

If you’re really keen on the snake’s head fritillary then the place to see them in undiluted glory is at Cricklade North Meadow, just to the west of our region, in Wiltshire. Each year 80% of the UK’s population of this unique little plant push their heads above the grass in the meadows near to the town. Over 500,000 flowers can be seen bobbing their heads in a spectacular display.

For more information see the website at www.crickladeinbloom.co.uk/north_meadow