Snowdrop or galanthus: description and care

Among the primroses, the amaryllis snowdrop is considered the most beautiful. White buds appear on long legs in March. They are not afraid of frost, they stand well in bouquets. Due to mass collection, they are on the verge of extinction in the wild.

Many species are bred to decorate gardens, park areas. In Holland, snowdrop bulbs are valued on a par with tulip bulbs. In England, the festival of primroses was established, it is celebrated on April 19.

General description of snowdrop

Galanthus (snowdrop) or milk flower is a bulbous plant from the amaryllis family. There are more than 20 species of plants, most of them bloom in early spring. They grow in groups, adapt well in garden plots in many climatic zones of Russia. Peduncles are stunted, buds are large, with three outer long and numerous inner short petals, exude a delicate aroma. Flowering time - the beginning of winter or the beginning of spring. By mid-summer, a fruit crust with three sections is formed, filled with oval seeds of a dark gray or black color. The leaves of the snowdrop are linear, pointed, grow until mid-summer, then wither. The bulb is conical or egg-shaped, formed from scales, grows up to 3 cm wide. In the sinuses of the outer layer, children are annually formed - bulbous processes.

The flower propagates by seeds, division. Not afraid of frost. Well zoned, adapts to various weather conditions.

Snowdrop myths and legends

According to biblical tradition, Eve was involved in the appearance of snowdrops. They were driven out of paradise with Adam in the winter. Eve regretted about this, looking around the snowy expanses. Several snowflakes, in order to encourage travelers, to announce the imminent spring, turned into white flowers. Snowdrops in European culture are considered a symbol of rebirth. The French, Germans called galanthus "snow bell". The name is not accidental, a delicate bud resembles it in shape. The British call the snowdrop "snowdrop". Flowers inspire writers, poets, artists.

In the cultures of many peoples of the world there are fairy tales, traditions associated with snowdrops. European legends more often speak of their occurrence: from pearl beads or dragon teeth. In Russia, everyone knows the tale of Samuel Marshak "12 months."

The stepmother sent her stepdaughter into the forest for snowdrops. The brothers took pity on her for months and let the flowers bloom.

Snowdrop in the red book

The natural habitat of galanthus is constantly declining due to the massive collection of flowers. They appear on the eve of March 8, do not fade for a long time, are well transported. Now the sale of snowdrops is officially banned. The collection of snowdrops is punishable by law. Many types of primroses are listed in the Red Book, including galanthus. The places where flowers grow on the territory of Russia in the last century received the status of reserves or reserves so that the flowers naturally reproduce.

Types of Galanthus

About 20 species of snowdrops are known. For the decorative design of the sites use half.


It is an endemic of Western Transcaucasia. The height of the plant, blooming with snow-white flowers, is 6–9 cm. Wide leaves are distinguished by the presence of plaque with a bluish color. It is most often grown in summer cottages.

Snow white

Distributed in the wild, blooms in late February, early March, resistant to winter frosts. The bulb grows up to 2 cm in diameter, the length of the flower arrow is 12 cm, the leaves are slightly shorter. The bud is large, conical in shape, up to 3 cm long, lasts up to a month. More than 500 varieties for different regions have been created on the basis of wild snow-white snowdrop. Popular in Russia: Lady Elphinstone, Arnott.


It grows in the Caucasus near beech thickets. Named after a botanist who made a detailed description of the plant. The leaves are narrow, dense, dense green with a bluish tint, grow to 6 cm to bloom, then reach a peduncle length of 30 cm.

The buds are standard, conical, center with a green speck. The length of the petals is up to 4 cm.


Belongs to the family of snowdrops, although the flowers appear in the autumn, and not in the spring. It looks folded: it has three long white and many green carved petals with a white stroke. It is found in the wild on the shores of the Bosphorus, cultivated in Western Europe, is not widely used in Russia.


In nature, distributed at the foot of the Caucasus along the Black Sea coast, cultivated in European countries, grows well in central Russia. Snowdrop is named after a famous biologist who preserves rare plant species. The flower stalk grows up to 15 cm tall, the length of the petals is from 2 to 4 cm. The bud is of a standard conical shape, lasts up to 20 days. The leaves are narrow, up to 2.5 cm wide, folded, slightly bent.


In the wild, it is found only in Greece, it is successfully cultivated in other regions, unpretentious to the soil. It is distinguished by a dull color of leaves, a green speck on the inner petals. The length of the arrow is up to 20 cm, the bulb is small, up to 2 cm in diameter. The bud is up to 4 cm long, conical, the upper petals bend. It blooms in April, the bud lasts up to 25 days.


A stunted species found in the forests of Central Transcaucasia, Iran. Leaves are straight, narrow, glossy. They grow up to 25 cm during the growing season, reach 15 cm during flowering. The flower stalk is low, up to 20 cm. The bell-shaped bud is up to 1.5 cm in diameter. Petals are white, narrow up to 2.5 cm long. Inner petals with a green spot. It blooms in late March, blooms up to 15 days, keeps well in a bouquet. It freezes in harsh winters. In garden areas requires shelter.


Grows in Asian countries at the foot of the mountains, found near Batumi. It differs by a wedge-shaped bulb, up to 2 cm thick. Leaves are opaque, straight, narrow, up to 1.5 cm wide.

Peduncle grows up to 20 cm long. External elongated petals with an oval tip reach 3 cm, internal up to 1 cm, partially green at the base. It blooms in mid-March, buds last up to a week.


It occurs in the territory of Crimea, Moldova, Ukraine. The bulb is egg-shaped, with pinkish scales, up to 3 cm in diameter.

Leaves with a bluish tint change color during growth from light to dark green, become glossy, bend to the ground. Peduncle grows up to 25 cm tall. The bud is large, conical, with a diameter of up to 4 cm. Appears in March, blooms up to 3 weeks.


It occurs in the Caucasus, is well acclimatized in temperate latitudes. The bulb grows large, up to 5 cm in diameter.

Leaves are straight, dense, dense green. The arrow grows to 20 cm, the bell-shaped bud appears in April and lasts for three weeks. The length of the ellipsoidal petals is up to 4.5 cm, the inner petals are without a green speck.


Distributed in Eastern Europe, named after the botanist who described it. It differs in a bluish tint of leaves (a plaque appears on them), a spherical shape of the bud. The length of the petals is 5 cm. The height of the flower arrow is 25 cm, the width of the leaves is 3 cm. It blooms from mid-February to mid-March, is well preserved in a bouquet.

Features of growing and propagating snowdrops

Primroses are rarely planted on individual beds. They are often used to complement the coloring of landscape compositions on alpine hills, in flowerbeds, rock gardens, rockeries. Snowdrop tolerates the neighborhood well:

  • with other flower bulbous crops: tulips, daffodils;
  • perennial plants blooming in autumn, developing in the resting phase, when the foliage dies.

Snowdrops are not afraid of return frosts, a temperature contrast, keep decorativeness in snow. Leaves, flower arrows just bend down and then straighten, continue flowering.

Galanthus bulbs are poisonous, working with them requires accuracy. Hand skin is protected by gloves. For planting on the site choose a well-lit place, which in the hot season shadows. Delicate primroses do not like the direct rays of the sun. Soil is preferable to light, nutritious. On clay meager soils, bulbs do not develop well. Areas with a high occurrence of groundwater are pre-drained so that waterlogging does not occur.

When planting, the bulbs are buried to a depth of three diameters. The daughter processes are grown separately, at a shallower depth. In the process of growth, they do not deepen on their own, they need to be transplanted. The bulb annually gives up to 3 children, over time, bumps form on the plantings. They are recommended to be divided every six years. Scrap sites are treated with chopped charcoal for disinfection. Affiliated processes are immediately planted, not allowing drying out.

Propagation by seeds: they are sown in spring, buried by 2 centimeters, watered abundantly. The shoot will hatch in 20-25 days, the buds will have to wait 3-4 years.

The soil for falling asleep during planting is seasoned by distillation (no more than ¼ of the volume of land), complex fertilizers are applied for bulb plants. Observe the dosage indicated in the instructions. Fresh manure is not used for feeding, excess nitrogen provokes the development of fungal infections.

Snowdrops are characterized by viral lesions. If the leaves become covered with brown spots, turn pale, the bulbs are dug up and discarded so that neighboring plants are not affected. Fungal lesions occur after a warm winter or with excessive feeding. For processing using natural fungicides. Chlorosis - blanching of leaves occurs due to a lack of trace elements, in this case, complex top dressing, superphosphate are added.

Dangerous pests are:

  • daffodil fly whose larvae eat bulbs;
  • onion nematode, the plant begins to fade;
  • butterfly scoop, she lays eggs on the leaves.

Insects are afraid of inspection processing. Preventive spraying is carried out when the first winged insects appear. Bulbs are eaten by rodents, shoots are leaves. Wood ash is an effective deterrent.

Mr. Summer resident informs: a few rules for growing snowdrops

Primrose lovers with galanthus in the plots support the plant throughout its life cycle. Things to remember in order to achieve good flowering:

  1. You should not plant the plant in rapidly drying areas, there will be few flowers. On lowlands where meltwater accumulates, the bulbs will rot.
  2. After germination, the plant needs to be watered, if there is little melt water, for a long time there is no rain.
  3. It is better to divide the bumps or to separate the children in the summer, when the snowdrop is resting. After the autumn transplant, the bulbs do not gain full strength, do not plant buds. In spring, the plants are not disturbed either.
  4. Only yellowed leaves are cut when the vegetation ends. Greens nourish new bulbs.
  5. During winters with little snow, snowdrops are covered with peat or light compost so that the soil does not freeze. Heavy shelters over galanthus do not.
  6. During the flowering period, fertilizing should be phosphate. The use of others is undesirable. From an excess of nitrogen, leaves are abundantly formed, the plant begins to rot.

When creating favorable conditions, the flower will develop normally, annually releasing color arrows abundantly.

Snowdrops do not require constant maintenance. When the place for planting is chosen successfully, the plant takes root well, will reproduce independently. Every spring there will be more buds.

You can achieve a gradual flowering if you plant several types of galanthus, for example, Elvezu, Snow-white, Folded. They will delight for a long time with delicate buds from the very beginning of spring until the snow melts.

Watch the video: Galanthus elwesii - Greater snowdrop (April 2020).