Everything You Need To Know About Snowdrops
The Galanthus Nivalis, also known as the common snowdrop, flowers between January and March. It is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus. They are among the first bulbs to bloom in the year and tend to grow most impressively in moist, drained and moderately fertile soil.
Belonging to the amaryllis family, snowdrops form where they are native or have been naturalised. They are classified as spring bulb plants and are native to Europe and Southwest Asia.
They are usually mixed with other spring-blooming bulbs and can be planted under deciduous trees, without fear that they won’t receive sufficient sunlight since they bloom as they store nutrients.
Galanthus Nivalis require almost no maintenance, and are well suited to flower beds, rock gardens, woodland gardens and moon gardens.
Snowdrops form beautiful and impressive white blankets during the Winter, typically growing between 7-15cm tall. They are perennial, herbaceous plants which grow from bulbs, producing attractive ruffle white blooms with emerald green stems.
The bulbs generally produce two linear grey-ish green leaves and solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped white flowers. The flower consists of six segments, they usually have a green or yellowish V or U shaped mark at the tip of each tepal.
Snowdrops contain an active substance called galantamine which can be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, though it is not a cure.
They’re also toxic to animals and humans, but where this is not a concern, it offers the benefit of being virtually immune to feeding by deer and other wildlife.
Other fantastic facts…
- Snowdrops are currently listed as threatened, with their population decreasing.
- The flower is a well-deserved recipient of the RHS Award of Garden Merit.
- The genus name Galanthus nivalis. T refers to the white color of the flowers (gala is Greek for “milk,” while anthos is Greek for “flower”), and nivalis is Latin for “snow-like.
Get your garden off to an incredible start this year with some Snowdrop Galanthus Nivalis: