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Galanthus nivalis

Common snowdrop

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Key information

Plant type

Spring-blooming bulb

Flower colour






Skill level


Galanthus nivalis

Plant details

For many gardeners the snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, heralds the end of winter. It's extraordinarily hardy, and can be relied on to flower very early whatever the weather – the colder and gloomier it is, the longer the blooms last, but in a sunny warm season they are comparatively fleeting.

Galanthus nivalis grows in most soils, but grows best in heavier, moist soils. It's most successfully transplanted while growing (in the green), and dry bulbs often take a season to settle down before flowering. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Family: Amaryllidaceae

Genus: Galanthus

Species: nivalis

Plant type: Spring-blooming bulb

Flower colour: White

Foliage colour: Dark green

Feature: Flowers

Sun exposure: Partial shade

Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline

Hardiness: Hardy

Skill level: Beginner

Height: 15cm

Spread: 8cm

Time to divide plants: March to May

Flowering period: February to March

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