Checkerboard flower - location, plants and care

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Checkerboard flower - location, plants and care: plants

These are similar to the pattern on the chessboard, the Latin name Fritillaria meleagris is translated as "guinea fowl". This animal also has a similar pattern in its plumage. The checkerboard is a popular ornamental plant and was named "Flower of the Year 1993".
Tip: The checkerboard is poisonous, especially in the onion sits a variety of substances.

Special features of the checkerboard flower

In the period between April and May, the individual flowers of a checkerboard flower can be found. They hang down like little bells and grow out of a small round onion with a diameter of 1-2 cm. She is a multi-annual plant and drives out at the beginning of early spring. An up to 20 cm long stem with 4-5 narrow leaves, on which then the flower is formed at the top, is the first thing that can be seen from the checkerboard. The flower colors range from a purple hue to a greenish hue, each in combination with white. There is also a completely white checkerboard flower that Fritillaria meleagris f. albain which there is still a slight difference in the whites.
In the capsule fruit of the flower are several seeds per fruit compartment, which increases the checkerboard. It is pollinated by insects, which in most cases are bees and bumblebees. The plant also proliferates by the formation of Brutzwiebeln. Two varieties are attracting attention in Europe:
  • Fritillaria meleagris subsp. burnatii in the South and West Alps
  • Fritillaria meleagris subsp. meleagrisexcept in the Alps in the typical areas

Location for the checkerboard flower

The home of the checkerboard is the Atlantic-Mediterranean region starting in western Europe from Normandy starting in the pre-Alpine and Alpine countries, Croatia to Romania. It is also to be found in England, here there is especially on the lawn of Magdalen College in Oxford, a larger occurrence. In England, the checkerboard has been detected only since 1736. In Germany, it grows more on wet meadows, in nature reserves and similar areas such as the Sinn, a tributary of the Saale in Franconia. Also on the Elbe, it still comes in nature reserves, in gardens, it is relatively rare planted. This used to be different, so there is an annual exhibition as part of the city project Zollhaus in Sassenberg in Münsterland.
Tip: The plant is considered very endangered and therefore subject to special protection.
Because of its toxicity, the checkerboard flower should not be planted in gardens for children. When walking in the habitats of the plant, care should be taken to ensure that children do not pick off the plant parts. Even if the highest percentage of poison is present in the onion, the substances also occur in the above-ground growing parts of plants.

The checkerboard flower in the garden

Since the checkerboard is one of the dying varieties of flowers, it is nice if they are planted in the native garden. If the precautions are taken because of their toxicity, you can look forward to a very unusual and beautiful flower. When planting, it is important to note a few peculiarities of the checkerboard bulb:
  • They dry out quickly in the air, so use them quickly!
  • They are rooted badly and slowly.
  • The best time to plant is August.
  • Root growth begins in September.
The onion of the checkerboard flower can be planted in about 8 cm depth. The planting hole can be provided with some sand as a base for the onion. The onion of the real checkerboard flower needs a soil that is moist to permanently moist. It should also be nutritious and loamy. After onset, the onions should get a good dose of water.
In the coming weeks, the onion of the checkerboard flower in the earth can grow roots and grow. In the flowering period from April to May, she shows her different flower colors, then she forms the fruit capsule. If you place them in a sunny to partially shaded spot and in a well-drained soil, they multiply by the formation of bulbous onions.
It fits beautifully in a rock garden or in a partially shaded spot under trees. The checkerboard flower also likes to be at home on the banks of the river and streams. It loves a moist underground. When planted, 10 to 15 flower bulbs should be placed on one square meter of garden area. The distance under the onions should be 20 cm to 30 cm. The depth of the plant hole should be about three times the onion height. Even if they delight with their beautiful flower alone, they should rather be planted in groups.
Tip: During flowering, a fertilizer can be very valuable.
Once the plant has settled in the garden and is well established, it needs no special care. By a more natural growth, she looks particularly beautiful and slightly wild. When the onions are mixed in color, an individual color image can be made. Free-growing chequerboard flowers like to grow together, which is why they can give the impression of being abundant in nature. However, this is not so, so the flower stems should not be picked and the onion should not be easily dug up.
The checkerboard flower is a nice addition to the garden in spring. Her preference for the location clearly goes into the area of ​​"wet feet". Therefore, the checkerboard flower is also like to find streams and pond edges, alternatively under trees or on meadows with appropriate soil. In the past she liked to multiply by flooding of waters, which today is no longer exclusively possible due to ditching. Previously, checkerboard flowers were found in large quantities on dyke meadows and then sold at the weekly markets. Today, it should be used for plant maintenance by planting in its own garden.

Tips for quick readers

  • Checkerboard flowers are perennial plants.
  • They are poisonous in all parts.
  • Moist surfaces are the ideal habitat.
  • It is a protected plant that can not be picked.
  • Their stature height is between 20-40 cm.
  • Their flowers hang upside down.
  • Blooms from April to May for a few days.
  • Striking: their hazelnut-sized flower bulbs.

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