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The snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
A Gulf Fritillary butterfly (Agraulis vanillae)


From Latin fritillus (dice-box).


fritillary (plural fritillaries)

  1. Any of several bulbous perennial plants, of the genus Fritillaria, having flowers with a spotted or chequered pattern.
    • 2014 April 6, Naomi Slade, “Fritillaries: Don't forget these lilies of the field: Make a pilgrimage to one of Britain’s few fritillary meadows this season [print version (5 April 2014, p. G5): Consider the lilies of the field]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Gardening)[1], London:
      Fritillaries are as fundamental a part of the British water meadow landscape as Ratty and Mole slowly punting along under a willow tree. They speak of opalescent spring mornings, with their distinctive chequered bells bowed earthward and beaded with dew, a dark counterpoint to the acid-fresh grass.
  2. Any of several butterflies, of the family Nymphalidae, having wings with black or silvery spots.