80221Where winters are more wintry, garden enthusiasts get to brag about their snowdrops as they emerge and bloom through melting snow. Diminutive white flowers against a backdrop of white snow may not look like much to us. We have more colorful flowers through winter, without the snow. Their kind of snowdrops, Galanthus specie, need more winter chill than they would get here anyway.

We have our own kind of snowdrops though. Leucojum aestivum does so well without significant winter chill that it can naturalize, and sometimes shows up in well watered gardens and riparian areas without being planted intentionally. Leucojum vernum is similar, but blooms with only single or paired flowers, rather than three or more small and pendulous flowers on each arching stem.

The rubbery leaves are about half an inch wide and a foot tall. They stand rather vertically, and can get nearly twice as tall if they need to grow through groundcover. The flower stalks are about the same height, and with the weight of the drooping flowers, might lean a bit outward from the foliage. Each flower has six white tepals with a yellowy green spot near the tip. All plant parts are toxic.

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6 thoughts on “Snowdrops

  1. Leucojum vernum are lovely but they are all the same. We galanthophiles get excited about all the subtle differences in snowdrops. And yes, I expect it is because apart from hellebores we haven’t got much else to obsess on in winter. And I am a hellebore bore too, I’ve been quite restrained on my blog so far this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, the hellebore! We used to grow them, and our clients bought them faster than we could produce them. I still do not understand the allure, but then, I am a Californian. So many people here are from other places where hellebores are probably very important in winter.

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