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Companion ideas Snakes Head Fritillary

Im a wildlife gardener (ecologist by profession, gardener by hobby). I have been growing snakes head frits in containers but would like something to go with them to start flowering about now and in the summer as the frits die back. My preference is a UK native but at the least a nectar rich flower. I was thinking lily of the valley and I have some pips (late I know) but worry that the wet winter needed for the frits may not suit LOTV. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for something to marry up in the same container as the frits? Im all out of inspiration at the moment.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,937
    edited May 2022
    Those will be fine, and also snowdrops [Galanthus] and Leucojum, and native primulas, but if you're growing in a container, it will depend on how big it is. The above are pretty much around the same times, or in slight succession. 
    I grow all of those plants with fritillaries, but they're in the ground, not pots. You may find the Convallaria takes over if it's happy too. 

    Is it a perennial you want to add? If so, you'll need ones which like the moisture well enough. It will depend on how well you can maintain the pot too. Some pond side plants will be fine - Caltha for example, or some Irises, but it also depends how long you want the succession. It would need to be a big planter if you want variety through summer as well. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • WoodgreenWoodgreen Posts: 1,273
    Hello johnpemberton16 and welcome to the forum.
    I personally haven't grown fritillaries in containers, but do grow them in grass, where the ground is naturally very wet in winter but can dry out in a good summer.
    I wonder if geranium sylvaticum would make a good companion for flowering now and into early summer, perhaps with a red campion, depending on the size of container?
    Birds-foot trefoil might work too.
    For later there is eupatorium, but they're generally large plants. I'm growing a dwarf one but don't know yet how small it will be, or whether its rootball would inhibit the fritillaries.
    I'm sure others will come up with some good suggestions.
  • Containers arent huge and I'd prefer a perennial. Ive got native primula in the ground all around. I could put something like water avens in but they dont have much of a wow factor. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,108
    edited May 2022
    If primulas work, what about Candelabra primulas?  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • AnguisFragilisAnguisFragilis Posts: 80
    edited May 2022
    Thanks WoodGreen. I may just try some wildflowers as you say. I have plenty of the species you suggested elsewhere in the garden. Might try herb robert. I know it can be a thug but I dont care if it spreads and I have some seeds collected.

    I planted 100 in the soil in the autumn and 3 germinated this year! 

    Just noticed my username still hasnt changed. ARGH
  • LG_LG_ SE LondonPosts: 4,047
    If water avens are happy, I've found that they flower for much of the year. I also think that lily of the valley would be good, though in my experience (in the ground) they can take a LONG time to establish - they're spreading happily now but it's been a few years.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
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