Common snowdrop, Candlemas bells, Candlemas lily, Common bells, Fair maids of February, Little sister of the snows, Purification flower
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.