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Snowdrop

Galanthus nivalis

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

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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.

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
Lovely white flowers with green markings
Winter colour
Lovely white flowers.

Geography

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.
Grey mould
Botrytis cinerea

Companion plants

Plant with other spring bulbs and annuals.
Daffodil
Narcissus pseudonarcissus

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