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Snowdrop Pictures

Updated on April 3, 2012

The common snowdrop, or galanthus nivalis is usually the first flower to bloom in late winter. certainly, in the tough winter of 2010, it was the only bloom around for weeks. Where snowdrops have been allowed to grow wild, unchecked, they can spread to form huge carpets of white blooms, and ore often seen as the harbinger of spring.

Tourists flock to these areas where there are carpets of snowdrops, and many stately homes offer snowdrop walks during the late winter (see below for details).

Snowdrops, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

A young clump of snowdrops.
A young clump of snowdrops.

 The snowdrop is a perennial plant, growing from a small bulb.  It's natural habitat is woodland, but it will grow just as happily in domestic gardens.  When planting snowdrops it's best to plant them 'in the green,' that is, it's best to buy the plants already in flower and plant these, rather than to buy the bulbs.  Planting in the green is much more successful; bulbs tend to go into the soil, never to be seen again!

 In late winter, the snowdrop appears as two grey-green linear leaves a few millimetres wide.  The plant then pushes up a single stalk, from which emerges the bloom, suspended on a thin pedicel.

The bloom is bell shaped and hangs down from the stalk.  It consists of six tepals three outer, larger ones, which us lay folk would assume are the petals (not so) and three inner ones which are much smaller, edged with green and form a tube shape within the flower.

Snowdrops and Spring Flowers

 However, technically one describes the flower, they really are very pretty, and a welcome relief from the drab of winter.

There are several types (cultivar) of snowdrop, single flowered, semi-double and double flowered, and goblet shaped.  The colour of leaves may vary, as may the markings on the inner tepals, the most common alternative colouring being yellow.  I have even heard of someone having pink snowdrops, but I have been unable to track down this cultivar, and suspect it's not a snowdrop at all.

Snowdrop Flower

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Quite honestly, all snowdrops look the same, a snowdrop is a snowdrop, right? Before all you galanthophiles rush down to Devon to lynch me, what I mean is, that often the difference between cultivars is so slight that one almost needs to be a botanist to spot it. OK, the difference between some greens and yellows is easy enough to spot, as is the difference between single and double flowers, but some differentiating factors are very slight.

Snowdrop Carpet, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

Snowdrop Walks

The National Garden Scheme has details of snowdrop gardens open to the public.  Whilst if you really want to get into spotting the differences between blooms, Brandy Mount,New Arlesford, Hampshire has the National Plant Collection of snowdrops and you can play 'spot the cultivar' to your heart's content

Prsonally, I'm happy to just enjoy these wonderful little plants when I stumble accross them out on a walk, or when they push their fragile heads through the cold, damp soil in my garden.

Snowdrops, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

Snowdrop Carpet, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

Snowdrops, Moretonhampstead, Dartmoor

Snowdrops, Moretonhampstead

Snowdrop Bank


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    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Thanks Jannyc and Darlene. We've had a really long, hard winter, and these little blooms just give you hope that it's almost over.

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Excellent hub Georgina, I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing this wonder flower with us.

    • JannyC profile image


      8 years ago

      Lovely hub Im really geting excited about spring now! Pretty flowers too. Flowers just make you smile and feel good.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      hellohello - I think spring is finally on it's way, though it's grey and very cold today.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Pamela99 - thank you. It's a little shorter than most of my hubs, but I really couldn't resist the pictures.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      There is something very special about them in every way. They herald spring and also they are so beautiful they way they stand there. Thank you for your hub.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Beautiful flower and pictures. Good hub.

    • Georgina_writes profile imageAUTHOR

      Georgina Crawford 

      8 years ago from Dartmoor

      Blimey debugs, you were quick. I was still editing! Thank you. I'm a big fan of these little plants. To me they just signal that spring is around the corner.

    • debugs profile image


      8 years ago from Odessey777, Umbris

      Lovely pics and great hub!


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