After the snowdrops and daffodils have faded away, our colourful range of fritillaries appear. There are many species of these attractive bulbs, which grow in all kinds of conditions. The crown imperial (F. imperialis) and the Persian lily (F. persica) are big enough to grow further back in the beds, even under some light shade, where they still make a statement, but once the foliage starts to shrivel, other plants are coming in to take over. Our native snake's head fritillary (F. meleagris) needs very different conditions, as it naturally grows in damps meadows, unfortunately one of the UK's endangered habitats. The chequerboard pattern of the tepals, gives Fritillaria its name, fritillus in latin meaning 'checkered'. Although there is a diverse range of flower shape and colour, many are very nectar rich and therefore excellent for attracting insect and bird life.