Fritillaria (Checkered Lily; Snakes Head; Crown Imperial)
Fritillaria is a genus of more than 100 species of herbaceous bulbous plants in the Liliaceae family, native to the northern hemisphere. It is an eye-catching, elegant plant that reaches a height of 1,5 metres. Tall and wiry stem bears a circle of pendant, colorful and showy bell-shaped flowers. Fritillaria is useful in beds, borders, containers, rock gardens and also as a cut flower.
The genus name is derived from the Latin word “fritillus”, which means “dice box”, in reference to the checkered pattern on the petals of a number of species.
Fritillaria symbolizes majesty, pride and power.
Interesting facts about Fritillaria:
According to the legend, the flowers of the Crown Imperial (Fritillaria imperialis) was pure white and grew in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives where Jesus was captured. While all the other flowers there bowed their heads to show respect and obedience, the Crown Imperial held up its head quite straight and firm. When Jesus reprimanded it, the Crown Imperial blushed with shame, bowed its head and wept.
Fritillaria is one of the national symbols of Croatia. In Croatia, the plant is known as “Kockavica”.
The flower inspired the checkerboard pattern on Croatia’s coat of arms.