Galanthus elwesii

giant snowdrop

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Giant snowdrops are one of the earliest bulbs to flower. Their teardrop-shaped, white blooms start in mid January and plants continue to bloom until mid to late February. Each pure white outer petal hides a smaller interior petal that is branded with a grass-green mark. If you are close enough to see the mark, make sure to inhale the honey-sweet fragrance of this charming flower. Thin, strap-like, grey-green leaves grow in tight clumps and act as the perfect foil for the dainty drops.Plant snowdrops under deciduous trees and shrubs, mixed with Crocus tommasinianus, Cyclamen coum, and Blechnum penna-marina.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: bulb

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 0 ft. 11 in. (0.27 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 0 ft. 2 in. (0.06 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun or light to open shade

Water Requirements: occasional watering during the summer

Wildlife Associations: bees

Resistant to: deer

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: black, chartreuse, burgundy, blue

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver, variegated

Culture Notes
Plant this snowdrop in a site that receives full sun or light to open shade in late winter and early spring. It likes a rich well-drained soil in an area that gets occasional watering during the summer. Unlike many bulbs, they do not like to dry out in the summer. It is best to plant bulbs while they are dormant, large clumps should be divided immediately after flowering before the foliage dies back for the summer.