Galanthus nivalis

common snowdrop

  • © Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Common snowdrop is a favorite prolific and reliable early spring bulb for the Northwest garden. Its delicate flowers appear in mid- to late February. Its outer pure white petals partly cover the inner petals, which are tipped with a characteristic green V-shaped mark. White blooms are set off by the narrow, glaucous gray-green leaves. Once established, the bulbs are long lived and lend themselves to dividing and naturalizing in the landscape. Large clumps are best divided after flowering and before the foliage dies back for the summer. This is one of the smallest and most enchanting of the snowdrops.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. 5 in. (0.12 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.