Snowdrops and Snowflakes


Galanthus (Snowdrop) bulbs flourish in most soils, provided that they are kept moist and in the shade. They should be planted while the leaves are still green. There are several species, but the most common are: Galanthus elwesii, which grows 20 cm (8 in) tall, and the common snowdrop, G. nivalis, which grows 15 cm (6 in) tall. Both have white flowers with green markings and flower in January onwards. In early June, after the foliage has died down, a light mulch should be given to prevent drying out in a hot summer.


Leucojum (Snowflake), is a bulb which produces flowers similar to large snowdrops. It does best in soil enriched with peat or leaf-mould and will grow in sun or shade. Three species are mainly grown: Leucojum aestivum (Summer Snowflake) which grows to a height of 60 cm (2 ft) and produces white flowers in April and May; L. autumnale which grows to a height of 22cm (9 in) and produces white flowers with a pink flush July-September; and L. vernum which grows to a height of 22 cm (9 in) and produces its green-tipped, white flowers in February and March. Itscultivar’Carpathicum’ has yellow-tipped petals. These are among the heralds of spring.