The snakeshead fritillary is the county flower of Oxfordshire, and this is its moment. You'll find it in damp ground, particularly in the water meadows of Oxford - those lovely wild places in the busy city centre, where, apart from the occasional wail of a nearby siren, you can imagine yourself far from modern life.
A few years ago, I planted three snakeshead fritillaries here. Now there are many more, dotted about, none of them where I put the original three. We went out in the drizzle on Sunday evening to look for them - the children were just giving up on what was clearly a maternal fantasy, when I found one, right outside my study window, in amongst the flame orange Ballerina tulips.
These photographs were taken yesterday in the Wild Garden at Trinity College.
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