Prized for their abundant blooms, Snowdrops (Galanthus) are invaluable additions to the garden and provide gardeners with some of the greatest pleasures. Nothing is more uplifting than a carpet of white flowers under bare winter trees. Appealing and highly versatile, these harbingers of spring are tough, cold-hardy, deer or rabbit resistant and easy to grow bulbous perennials. Remarkably resilient, they even bloom beneath a blanket of snow if they have to. They are fabulous at bringing sparkles to the winter garden when most plants are still dormant and bring huge amounts of optimism and great joy.
- There are 20 different Snowdrop species and several hundreds of hybrids. Yes, several hundreds (!). The craze known as Galanthophilia has swept through the ranks of gardening enthusiasts in the past few years. While all snowdrops look the same to the uninitiated - dainty, nodding white flowers, with a dab of green, held on a thin arching stalk at the end of a thicker stem - they reveal their differences when you take a closer look. Some bear single flowers with 3 large outer petals enclosed 3 smaller inner ones. Others enjoy double flowers with many inner petals resembling petticoats. The foliage of 2-3 strap-like leaves varies considerably across species and cultivars (wide, narrow, twisted, etc).
- Some Snowdrops bloom extremely early and can show up weeks before crocuses do. Others can be found in flower in late May.
- It should be noted that weather conditions have a huge influence on the flowering season of Snowdrops. The same Galanthus species can bloom considerably earlier or later from one year to the next, depending on how cold or warm the weather is.
- In the United Kingdom, the earliest snowdrop varieties bloom in October before they are joined by most in February, when the winter is slowly receding. In milder areas, these Snowdrops will bloom earlier, while they will raise their milky-white heads from the sleeping earth much later in warmer areas. Once in bloom, they will last longer if the weather remains cool.
- In the United States, where a wider range of weather conditions exists, the Snowdrop season generally starts in October and ends in April, with the peak season being in February and March. In warmer areas, the blooms will start 2-3 weeks earlier, while they will occur 2-3 weeks later in cooler areas. In the South, snowdrops may even bloom all winter long.
- Wherever Snowdrops grow, they generally follow a sequence wherein the ones starting the season typically end it as well.
|Season||Northern Hemisphere||Southern Hemisphere|
|Fall||October - November||April-May|
|Very Early||November- December||May - June|
|Early||December - January||June - July|
|Peak Season||January end - February||July end - August|
|Late||February end - March||August end - September|
|Very Late||March - April||September - October|