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Galanthus nivalis AGM

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© RHS 2003

Characteristics

Plant type

Bulb

Habit

Tufted

Fragrance

Flower

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset; contact might irritate skin

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Green and White in Winter

Foliage

Green and Grey/Silver in Spring and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0-0.1 metre

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

common snowdrop

Family

Amaryllidaceae


Galanthus are dwarf bulbous perennials with linear or strap-shaped leaves, and solitary, often honey-scented, nodding flowers with 3 white outer tepals and 3 smaller inner ones often marked with green

G. nivalis is a perennial to 15cm, with narrow, grey-green leaves and solitary, nodding, fragrant white flowers 2.5cm in length, the inner segments marked with green at the tip

Other common names

  • Candlemas bells
  • Candlemas lily
  • common bells
  • fair maids of February
  • little sister of the snows
  • purification flower

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Grow in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil that does not dry out in summer

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Chalk, Clay, Sand or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown in containers in an open frame when ripe or division when foliage dies back. Seed may not come true

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Rock Garden, Underplanting of Roses and Shrubs or Wildflower meadow


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Can get narcissus bulb fly and slugs

Diseases

May be infected by a grey mould