Snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis

Candlemas Bells, Candlemas Lily, Common Bells, Common Snowdrop, Fair Maids Of February, Little Sister Of The Snows, Milky Snowdrop, Purification Flower

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Galanthus nivalis is a perennial species that grows to around 15cm tall, producing narrowly strap-shaped grey-green leaves and solitary, white, nodding, scented white flowers which measure around 2.5cm long. These are attractively marked with green on the inner petals at the tips. The common snowdrop is an attractive first spring flower, even flowering through the snow. It can form large carpets of pretty white and green flowers, spreading a lovely scent. These are often an initial food source for bees after the winter. The generic name 'Galanthus' comes from the Greek 'gála' meaning 'milk', and 'ánthos' meaning 'flower'. The name 'nivalis' means 'of the snow', referring to the early flowering time. This species has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Award of Garden Merit. It is also part of the RHS “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Winter

Fruiting time

Summer

Harvesting

Generally not harvested but can be taken for floral arrangements

Propagation

Division

Carefully divide the clumps of bulbs when in full growth (in the green), or when the plant is dormant - immediately after the foliage has withered. Plant where wanted 2-3cm deep immediately after.

Special features

Attractive flowers
Winter colour

Special features

Origin

Eurasia.

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Ornamental

Grown in gardens and pots for their early flowers.

Notes

This low maintenance perennial can be planted in beds and borders under deciduous trees or shrubs or in pots and containers for late winter displays. It can be naturalised through grass in wildflower areas.

Personality

Family

Amaryllidaceae

Flower colour

White, with a green spot on inner tepal., White, Green

Scent

Mild

Problems

May be attacked by narcissus bulb fly and slugs. May be affected by grey mould.

Related Problems

Companion plants

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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