"On sunless days in winter, we shall know
By whom the silver gossamer is spun,
Who paints the diapered fritillaries,
On what wide wings from shivering pine to pine the eagle flies."
-Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
"When Oscar Wilde speaks of "the diapered fritillary,' he means the little Checkered Lily (Fritillaria meleagris), for "diapered" is a very old traditional term for either a checkered pattern or the pattern known as "harlequin" or a checkerboard of diamonds." -- courtesy Paghat's Garden
Lots more charming info on them on that page, including the fact that they were a regular features in Elizabethan gardens. I have to admit, that while I respect the folks who plant only native plants (much as I respect vegetarians), I am not likely to ever become one of them. I love the British plants too much, especially the Shakespearean ones. I would like to have lots of fritillaries in our early spring front garden, along with snowdrops, snowflakes, camassia, grape hyacinths (muscari), white daffodils, purple crocuses, and scilla.
I do feel a bit better about planting them, knowing that they're endangered in their native British / French habitat.