Blog

An ode to snake’s head fritillary – wedding inspiration using this unusual native British spring flower

Charlie / 8 May 2013

Bridal bouquet of spring hellebores and snake's head fritillary

Here at The Natural Wedding Company I love to promote seasonality, and to encourage and inspire couples to choose to plan their weddings fitting in with the season whether that be flowers, food, or decorations.  Choosing seasonal blooms for your wedding flowers is one way to reduce the environmental impact of your big day (rather than imported flowers), as well as reflecting the beautiful and varied times of year.

Recently on my Facebook feed I’ve been seeing one particular spring flower popping up in bouquets from various TNWC flower businesses – the snake’s head fritillary.  This very dainty bell like bloom is a native English flower that makes it appearance during the spring months.

Following on from my previous floral ‘odes’ (‘an ode to violets’ and ‘an ode to old-fashioned roses’) today I’m going to showcase the snake’s head fritillary.  From bouquets and buttonholes to table centrepieces, I’m going to show you how you can incorporate it into your spring wedding.

Snake's head fritillary
Image: The Garden Gate Flower Company

I’m delighted to have put together this feature on the snake’s head fritillary with the help of some of my talented TNWC flower businesses.  As I know many of you are planning your wedding and searching for a florist who grows their own or sources local British blooms, I’ve included their details and where they are based in the country as all of them provide stunning flowers for weddings.

Bouquets and Posies

When it comes to wedding flowers what better place to start than with bouquets.  Every bride needs a bouquet and I have a beautiful selection here to showcase all featuring the dainty snake’s head fritillary.

First up this seasonal spring bouquet from Susanne at The Blue Carrot based down in Cornwall. Along with the snake’s head fritillary, Susanne used the following homegrown flowers: parrot, double and single tulips from her tunnel; hellebores; narcissi, ranunculus; and feverfew.  She also added a few sprays of jasmine, which she bought as a plant from B&Q and used the cuttings.

Pastel spring bouquet with tulips and snake's head fritillary by www.thebluecarrot.co.uk
Flowers: The Blue Carrot

Here’s a close up of this beautiful bouquet – I particularly love how Susanne combines colour, with the sweet shop pastels set off by the addition of those deep, velvety purple hellebores.

Seasonal spring bouquet of tulips and snake's head fritillary by www.thebluecarrot.co.uk
Flowers: The Blue Carrot

For this next seasonal spring bouquet we are heading to Suffolk to the garden of Anne-Marie who runs her flower business Forage For.  Anne-Marie’s snake’s head fritillary bouquet has a completely different style to Susanne’s above, it is both elegant and yet loose and natural all at the same time.

Along with the delicate snake’s head fritillary Anne-Marie has used another seasonal spring favourite of mine – those pretty pale green hellebores with their light pink blushed petals.

Natural spring bouquet of hellebores and snake's head fritillary by www.foragefor.co.uk
Flowers: Forage For

Now we are heading further north to Lancashire with this next striking spring bouquet.  Angela runs Petal and Twig and has a very distinct style to her floral work, creating quite structured and architecturally stunning bouquets and arrangements.

For this spring bridal bouquet she combined seasonal garden finds including hellebores, viburnum tenus, purple heather, and the star of today’s feature the snake’s head fritillary.

Spring bouquet of snake's head fritillary, hellebores and heather from www.petalandtwig.co.uk
Flowers: Petal and Twig

We’re even further north with this spring bouquet from Cath at Blue Poppy Florist all the way up in Scotland!  She’s also been playing around with snake’s head fritillary this spring and created this pretty hand-tied posy of fritillaries, narcissi, viburnum, muscari, snowflakes, and tulips all from her garden.

Soft spring bouquet of narcissi muscari and snake's head fritillary from www.bluepoppyflorist.com
Flowers: Blue Poppy Florist

Staying in Scotland, we have this beautiful bouquet from Natalya and Fiona at Pyrus in Edinburgh. They created the seasonal spring bouquet for a bride who got married over the bank holiday weekend, so just a few days ago!

Along with white snake’s head fritillary it contains spirea and daffodils from their cutting garden, Cornish skimmia and lily of the valley, and a few touches of pink astilbe that is imported.

Seasonal spring bouquet of white snake's head fritillary, daffodils, and lily of the valley from www.pyrusflowers.co.uk
Flowers: Pyrus

And because I couldn’t resist another one of this pretty bridal bouquet…

Bridal bouquet white snake's head fritillary, daffodils, and pink astilbe from www.pyrusflowers.co.uk
Flowers: Pyrus

Our final showcase of snake’s head fritillary in a bridal bouquet is from Alice at Lock Cottage Flowers based in Surrey.  Alice tells me that snake’s head fritillary ‘grows like wildfire’ around where she lives and she loves using it in spring arrangements.

This seasonal spring bouquet put together at the end of April features 100% homegrown blooms and foliage and includes purple and white fritillary, hellebore, amelanchier blossom, euphorbia, physocarpus (Ninebark), emerging plum coloured leaves from a Japanese maple, and a rogue bright pink tulip.

Wild spring bouquet of snake's head fritillary, hellebores and purple Japanese maple from http://www.facebook.com/LockCottageFlowers
Flowers: Lock Cottage Flowers

I really love the waterfall feel of Alice’s bouquet, the way the snake’s head fritillary bow and droop along with their wispy foliage.

Buttonholes and Corsages

Starting off our selection of buttonholes and corsages featuring snake’s head fritillary, we have some more beautiful arrangements from Anne-Marie at Forage For in Suffolk.  She created these corsages for an end of April spring wedding (see the bouquet above from the same wedding).

These were worn by the mother of the groom, and mother of the bride, a lovely addition to giving the main men buttonholes don’t you think?

The corsage on the left contains snake’s head fritillary and a hellbore, and on the right the snake’s head fritillary is joined by astilbe leaves, heather, sempervivum and akebia quinata (chocolate vine).

Seasonal spring wedding corsages with snake's head fritillary, hellebores and sempervivum from www.foragefor.co.uk
Flowers: Forage For

Down to Cornwall again to another beautiful creation from Susanne at The Blue Carrot.  For these seasonal spring buttonholes she combined snake’s head fritillary with feverfew and bluebells fastened with hessian and lace.

Spring buttonholes with snake's head fritillary, bluebells and feverfew from www.thebluecarrot.co.uk
Flowers: The Blue Carrot

Our final buttonhole comes from Cath at Blue Poppy Florist up in Scotland.  Along with purple and white snake’s head fritillary and viburnum leaves, Cath also added some spring blossom for a very pretty combination.

Lace tied spring buttonholes of blossom and snake's head fritillary from www.bluepoppyflorist.com
Flowers: Blue Poppy Florist

Table Centrepieces

Perhaps you would like to create some stunning wedding table centrepieces for your spring wedding featuring the snake’s head fritillary – well here are a few examples to inspire you with what’s possible.

Jay from Jay Archer Floral Design based in Hampshire has a particularly distinct style and way with flowers, and this selection of spring arrangements is wild but elegant at the same time.  She included snake’s head fritillary in both the glass vase table centrepieces as well as the heart floral wreath (more on this below).

Spring arrangements with snake's head fritillary from www.jayarcherfloraldesign.com
Flowers: Jay Archer Floral Design

Here’s a close up of those beautiful glass vases filled with those beautiful snake’s head fritillary and a few fern fronds.  I particularly love that Jay chose to showcase the snake’s head fritillary all on their own to stunning effect.

Seasonal spring table centrepieces of snake's head fritillary from www.jayarcherfloraldesign.com
Flowers: Jay Archer Floral Design

Cath at Blue Poppy Florist in Scotland recently created this seasonal spring centrepiece using a combination of snake’s head fritillary, narcissi, hellebores and branches of blossom.  I love the rustic feel of this table arrangement with the pretty spring flowers and structural blossom branches.

In contrast to Jay’s elegant glass vases, Cath has gone for a tall jam jar decorated with lace and ribbon for a more down-to-earth style.

Spring table posy of narcissi, blossom and snake's head fritillary from www.bluepoppyflorist.com
Flowers: Blue Poppy Florist

These next snake’s head fritillary centrepieces are from Katherine of Florist in the Forest, who is based on the Kent/East Sussex border in the south of England.  Katherine used a selection of mismatched vintage glass vases for this pretty spring display, with the snake’s head fritillary accompanied by paperwhites, ranunculus, lilac, muscari and hyacinths.

Elegant spring table arrangements of ranunculus and snake's head fritillary from www.floristintheforest.co.uk
Flowers: Florist in the Forest

The soft, pale colour palette that Katherine has chosen for these arrangements is very chic and romantic, with the dash of colour provided by the blue muscari.

Mismatched vintage glass vases of ranunculus and snake's head fritillary from www.floristintheforest.co.uk
Flowers: Florist in the Forest

It’s lovely to head to the middle of the country now to Nottingham, to this jug centrepiece created by Naomi from Naomi Strachan Florist.  This simple but pretty arrangement uses white honesty as a beautiful accompaniment to the purple snake’s head fritillary.

Jug wedding table arrangement of honesty and snake's head fritillary from www.naomistrachan.co.uk
Flowers: Naomi Strachan Florist

Jam Jar Arrangements

Sometimes you don’t want a big table centrepiece, especially for a more rustic and handmade wedding.  I think it will be some time before jam jars die out as a favourable choice for creating small, dainty table arrangements – they can be clustered together in the centre of a round table, or dotted along the length of a trestle table.

Tammy from Wild Bunch in Shropshire recently put together these jam jar posies for a London wedding: “It was a small and intimate wedding, and the bride really wanted homegrown flowers. The tables were tiny, so the table flowers were these jam jars arrangements.”

Jam jar spring posies with tulips, narcissi and snake's head fritillary from http://wildbunchflowersfromthegarden.co.uk
Flowers: Wild Bunch

The jam jars contain snake’s head fritillary, viburnum, narcissus and pink tulips.

Jam jar spring wedding posy with tulips, narcissi and snake's head fritillary from http://wildbunchflowersfromthegarden.co.uk
Flowers: Wild Bunch

Our final spring jam jar arrangement featuring snake’s head fritillary is from Naomi of Naomi Strachan Florist in Nottingham.  She combined fritillaries, wild primroses and black hellebores along with foliage in jam jars tied with lace to create these sweet jam jar arrangements.

Lace decorated jam jar with primroses, hellebores and snake's head fritillary from www.naomistrachan.co.uk
Flowers: Naomi Strachan Florist

Wreaths

The lovely thing about our TNWC flower businesses is they are always pushing the boundaries and producing new and wonderful creations.  Jay from Jay Archer Floral Design based in Hampshire is one of those who creates stunning and unusual floral arrangements, so I was delighted when she sent me this heart wreath featuring snake’s head fritillary.

Isn’t it stunning!  I particularly love the frothy fern fronds, the delicate snake’s head fritillary blooms and those silver bulbs with their roots showing (what a fab idea!).

Heart shaped floral wreath with ferns, snake's head fritillary and berries from www.jayarcherfloraldesign.com
Flowers: Jay Archer Floral Design

Well that’s my round-up of the beautiful spring snake’s head fritillary.  Until researching and writing up this feature I had seen little of this pretty native British flower, but now I am completely won over by it’s understated beauty and hope to see it appear in next year’s spring weddings!

Are you planning a spring wedding and do you think you might consider using the snake’s head fritillary in your bouquet, buttonholes or arrangements?  What are you favourite seasonal spring flowers?

Comments

My Time At The Wedding Institute ~ A Wonderfully Creative And Vintage Wedding Affair | Love My Dress® UK Wedding Blog on 16. September, 2014

[…] loved the use of this snakeshead fritillary – infact, if you hop on over to The Natural Wedding Company today, I gather that blogger Charlie has prepared a feature about this striking floral […]

Leave a comment

Back to blog

Seasonal wedding ideas:

Browse the blog:

Brides Sign Up

Sign up and save your favourite businesses, add ideas to your wedding wish list and receive beautiful inspiration straight to your inbox

JOIN NOW

Advertise

Become part of the definitive online resource for planning a natural, eco-friendly wedding and connect with engaged couples seeking products and services just like yours.

FIND OUT MORE