Galanthus nivalis Common Snowdrop

This is probably the best-known and most widespread representative of the genus Galanthus. Often associated as a woodland plant it is not a British native having probably been introduced in the early sixteenth century.  Since then it has proved very comfortable with the conditions and naturalises widely.   I find this plant is one of the first plants to announce the arrival of Spring, and is great fully awaited appearing in milder areas in December – January.  I find in the Midlands generally we see them flowering mid January through to March.

All species of Galanthus are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs. Each bulb generally produces just two or three linear  leaves with a flowering stalk that bears the and an erect, leafless flowering stalk, which bears a solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped white flower. The flower has no petals: it consists of six tepals,  the outer three being larger and more convex than the inner series.   After the flowers have faded the leaves die back within a few weeks.

The sight of a caret of snow drops can be quite magical and there are many famous examples of such sites.  The national trust has listed some of their properties that are worthy of a visit. These include Ickworth, Suffolk, Attingham Park, Shropshire & Newark Park in Gloustershire.  National Trust snowdrop site

If you wish to introduce snowdrops into your garden it is best to plant then as potted plants or as plants which have just been lifted and the leaves beginning to die back in late Spring.  If you do buy bulbs you need to obtain fresh bulbs because snowdrop bulbs dry out very quickly .  Bulbs need to be planted in a semi shaded location with leaf mound incorporated into the soil adding to soil moisture retention.  They will also need a site that does not dry out too much in the Summer so it is always worth fully understanding your site before you plant.

Supplier of bulbs in the green Eurobulbs,

Video of planting snowdrops in the Green


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