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Stunning display of snake’s head fritillaries at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Fox Fritillary Meadow

Framsden, Suffolk. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve in Framsden is the largest Suffolk population of fritillary - with several hundred thousand purple and white (f. albiflora Zahar.) flowering plants in good years - Pictured is Michael Strand Development manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust looking at a Fritillary ANL-140419-225228009

Framsden, Suffolk. The Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve in Framsden is the largest Suffolk population of fritillary - with several hundred thousand purple and white (f. albiflora Zahar.) flowering plants in good years - Pictured is Michael Strand Development manager for Suffolk Wildlife Trust looking at a Fritillary ANL-140419-225228009

One of the rarest sights in the flora of Suffolk brought out botany fans to a meadow accessible only once a year.

The Fox Fritillary Meadow at Framsden boasts one of the county’s most impressive displays of the snake’s head fritillary, and they were out in all their glory on Saturday.

Suffolk Wildlife Trust, which owns the site, gave people the chance to see the display of about 300,000 of the British native wild plants.

The meadow is managed to best suit the plant, which likes quite fertile, free draining soils, in areas which flood during winter.

This year’s heavy rainfall led to a particularly good display, it was thought.

The Royal Horticultural Society describes the plant as “one of the most exquisite jewels in the treasure house of British wild flowers”.

About 180 visitors turned up, twice as many as last year.

They saw two native varieties, the albino f. albiflora Zahar and Fritillaria meleagris.

Michael Strand, of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, explained what he thought attracted people to the plant.

He said: “You don’t find many plants with its detail and pattern.

“I also think there’s something slightly otherworldly about it - like something you could write about in a children’s story.”

For those interested next year’s open day, send an email to michael.strand@suffolkwildlifetrust.org, to be placed on the mailing list.

 

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