The common "Snakeshead Fritillary" is a bulbous perennial with
grey green leaves and a stalk bearing pendent, mainly solitary flowers
in colours of maroon and white, bearing a chess board pattern. This is
a bulb that will happily naturilize in grass providing the soil is damp
and not prone to drying out in summer. To aid self seeding, plants should
be left until the seed heads ripen and burst ( often as late as the end
of June or early July). It goes without saying then that this is not a
plant to grow if your main requirement is a manicured lawn. By leaving
the grass until late June to cut, the area resembles a meadow by the time
you get the mower out. This is not however without its compensations.
Despite having to hand weed out dandelions and bitter cress last year
while waiting on the fritillaries to set seed, I was rewarded with flax
flowers in the small lawn area. These had self seeded from the bird feeders
that hang overhead in the old pear tree.