Fritillaria meleagris is a species of flowering plant in the family Liliaceae. Its common names include snake’s head fritillary, snake’s head [the original English name], chess flower, frog-cup, guinea-hen flower, leper lily [because its shape resembled the bell once carried by lepers], Lazarus bell, checkered lily or, in northern Europe, simply fritillary.
The name Fritillarea comes from the latin fritillus meaning dice-box, and [possibly] referring to the chequered pattern on the flowers. The name meleagris means ‘spotted like a guinea fowl’. The common name “snake’s head” refers to the somewhat snakelike appearance of the green and brown nodding flower heads. The flower has a chequered pattern in shades of green and purple, maroon, or is sometimes pure white.