Fritillary Flowering Almost Finished

Fritillary Flowering Almost Finished
Fritillary Seed Pod
Fritillary Seed Pod

The fritillary flowering almost finished for this year. Most Fritillary flowers  have now been pollinated and are developing seed pods. The main pollinator of the fritillary flowers are queen red tail bumblebee ( Bombus lapidarius).

Over the next few weeks the seed pods will swell and the stem will straighten. Eventually the seed pod will split releasing up to 150 seeds.

The picture above taken today shows a carpet of dandelion seed heads and ribwort plantain flowers. A few fritillary flowers are still visible but largely obscured now by the growing hay crop. Continue reading “Fritillary Flowering Almost Finished”

Fritillary Count on North Meadow

Research on North Meadow

The fritillaries are still looking spectacular, most are now in flower and some have stared to form seed heads.

Over the next few days you may see Natural England and the Floodplain Meadows Partnership carrying out research on North Meadow, recording the  Snakes Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris). North Meadow is home to 80% of  the UK population of this nationally scarce plant. Continue reading “Fritillary Count on North Meadow”

Spectacular Fritillary Display

Now is a great time to see this year’s spectacular fritillary display. The picture above was taken last Saturday and shows huge numbers of fritillaries in flower.

On a sunny day the meadow will have a purple bloom as the majority of fritillary flowers are purple. There are also white flowers which are the same species and these are less common, about 7% of the total.

Only about 20% of the fritillary plants flower each year. The majority of mainly young plants are non-flowering, some with only a single leaf which resembles a blade of grass. The Floodplain Meadows Partnership who carry out research on North Meadow have produced a leaflet explaining the life cycle of Snakes Head Fritillaries.

Bring your binoculars to get the best view of the display which is even better from a low viewpoint. Please remember to stay on the path. Continue reading “Spectacular Fritillary Display”

Lots of Fritillaries but only a few in flower

There are large numbers of fritillaries and a few have started to flower. They are still very difficult to see as the picture above taken on Friday 29th March shows. Only a about 20% of the fritillary plants in the meadow flower each year.

Vegetative Fritillary Plants
Vegetative Fritillary Plants

The younger plants stay in a vegetative state for several years, even the older plants only flower if the environmental conditions are favourable. The Floodplain Meadows Partnership have produced a leaflet describing the life cycle of the fritillaries . The vegetative plants can easily be mistaken for grass as the adjacent picture shows. They are very easily trampled and damaged at this stage. Continue reading “Lots of Fritillaries but only a few in flower”

The Snakes Head Fritillaries are showing but very difficult to see

The Snakes Head Fritillary season is about to start. There are a small number of flower buds showing but, although there are a large number of fritillary shoots, they are currently very difficult to see. The picture above was taken on Friday 25th March. If you do visit in the next few days do not be tempted to leave the marked paths as you will do considerable damage to the emerging fritillary shoots. Continue reading “The Snakes Head Fritillaries are showing but very difficult to see”

The Fritillaries Have Finished Flowering

The fritillaries have finished flowering for this year. The hay crop will soon grow and will be full of wild flowers. Conditions on the meadow are now quite wet and muddy after the recent rain. River levels have also risen in recent days.

We are running a Practical Scything and Meadow Management Course on Saturday 10th July 2021. The course will be on North Meadow and will be run by Richard Brown, Chairman of the Scything Association of Britain and Ireland. Continue reading “The Fritillaries Have Finished Flowering”