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Snake's head (Fritillaria meleagris)—Ingmar Holmasen
Any of the approximately 80 species of bulbous, mostly perennial, ornamental herbaceous plants that make up the genus Fritillaria, in the lily family, native primarily to the northern temperate zone. Members have bell-shaped, nodding, usually solitary flowers. In many species the flower has a checkered appearance. The fruit, a capsule, contains many seeds. Snake's head, or toad lily (F. meleagris), a species with poisonous bulbs, and crown imperial (F. imperialis), a strong-smelling plant, are commonly cultivated as garden flowers.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on fritillary, visit Britannica.com.