Have you spotted the first flowering of elder yet?
Why not download our snowdrop fact sheet?
snowdrop fact sheet Strap-like, blue-green leaves
Drooping white flowers
Inner flower segments have a green patch towards the tip
Only one flower per stem
Anything else is a cultivated variety – please do not record these
Damp woods, streamsides, meadows and shady gardens
When to look for
Fabulous snowdrop facts
- Other common names include Candlemas bells (Candelmas is 2 February), Mary’s taper, snow piercer, February fairmaids and Dingle-dangle
- One of the earliest bulbs to flower
- Regarded by many as a wildflower, snowdrops were not recorded as growing wild in the UK until the 1770s. Most colonies are probably garden escapees though it is still thought some may be native, particularly in southwest England
- Snowdrops are certainly native to a large part of Europe, as far north as Brittany, where they grow in damp woods and meadows
- Most colonies in the UK reproduce by division of the bulbs and not by seed unless exceptionally mild weather encourages insect pollination
- A snowdrop plant may be said to look like three drops of milk hanging from a stem. This accounts for the Latin name Galanthus which means "milk-white flowers"
- The hundreds of cultivated varieties include giant, double and rare yellow kinds, some of which change hands for significant sums
- Snowdrops are one of the white flowers regarded as unlucky to bring into the house despite acceptance by the Catholic Church as a symbol of Candlemas
- Some people still view them as ‘death-tokens’ and the flower has been described as ‘a corpse in its shroud’ but this belief may have an anti-Catholic history