Terms and conditions are loading...
Click the tabs to read more
Get more detailed care advice, specific how-to guides and care reminder prompts right to your inbox!
Check you are planting correctly with our unique garden match tool.
Did you know 30% of new plants purchased die within the first year because they are planted in the wrong place? Don't make that costly and upsetting mistake!
|1 hour care
Botanical name: Galanthus nivalis
Other names: Common snowdrop, Fair maids of February, Little sister of the snows, purification flower, Candlemas bells, Candlemas lily, Common bells
Species: G. nivalis - G. nivalis is a bulbous perennial with narrow, grey-green leaves, and solitary, nodding, fragrant, double white flowers in spring.
Galanthus nivalis is: Deciduous
Flower: Green, White in Winter
Foliage: Green, Grey-green in Winter
Fragrance: Flower has fragrance
Habit: Mat Forming, Weeping
Toxicity: Ingestion may cause mild stomach upset and skin contact might irritate.
Awards: RHS AGM (Award of Garden Merit)
Plant with: Rosa 'Climbing Iceberg' (Rose 'Climbing Iceberg'), Acaena microphylla (New Zealand burr), Acaena saccaticupula 'Blue Haze' (New zealand burr 'Blue Haze'), Betula utilis var. jacquemontii 'Grayswood Ghost' (Himalayan birch 'Grayswood Ghost'), Acer campestre (Field maple), Acer cappadocicum 'Aureum' (Golden Cappadocian maple), Acer lobelii (Lobel's maple), Acer pseudoplatanus 'Brilliantissimum' (Sycamore 'Brilliantissimum'), Acer saccharinum (Silver maple), Acer capillipes (Snake-bark maple), Alnus glutinosa 'Imperialis' (Alder 'Imperialis'), Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Purple' (Beech 'Dawyck Purple'), Fraxinus excelsior (Common ash), Fraxinus angustifolia 'Raywood' (Claret ash), Malus floribunda (Japanese crab), Malus 'John Downie' (Apple 'John Downie'), Parrotia persica (Persian ironwood), Ginkgo biloba (Maidenhair tree), Prunus cerasifera 'Nigra' (Black cherry plum), Ptelea trifoliata 'Aurea' (Golden stinking ash), Quercus ilex (Holm oak), Salix caprea 'Kilmarnock' (Kilmarnock willow), Tilia cordata 'Greenspire' (Small-leaved lime 'Greenspire'), Carpinus betulus (Hornbeam), Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' (Japanese maple 'Osakazuki'), Aralia elata (Angelica tree), Chimonanthus praecox var. luteus (Wintersweet), Acer pseudosieboldianum (Korean maple), Acer caudatum subsp. ukurunduense (Manchurian maple), Acer calcaratum (Acer calcaratum), Acer mandschuricum (Manchurian maple), Acer monspessulanum (Montpelier maple), Carpinus omeiensis (Mount Omei hornbeam)
Specific diseases: Grey mould
Galanthus nivalis (Common snowdrop) will reach a height of 0.2m and a spread of 0.1m after 2-5 years.
Suggested uses: Cottage/Informal, Beds and borders, Underplanting, Wildflower
Cultivation: Plant in humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil that does not dry out in summer. Although you can plant bulbs, it is better to plant 'in the green', when the plant has foliage and flowers in show. These tend to establish better than bulbs without growth
|This plant likes...||Garden match|
|Soil types:||Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)|
|Soil drainage:||Moist but well-drained, Well-drained|
|Soil pH:||Acid, Alkaline, Neutral|
|Light:||Partial Shade, Full Sun|
|Aspect:||North, South, East, West|
Discuss Galanthus nivalis (Common snowdrop) with other Shoot members.
Although it may not be native to England, it has long been naturalised in moist woods, road verges, parks and churchyards. Its frequent occurrence on religious sites may be connected with the coincidence of its flowering period with Candlemas, on 2 February. The flowers are pollinated by the first bees to emerge on warm days. The word Galanthus is of Greek origin, and roughly signifies 'milkflower', referring to the white coloration of the flowers. Nivalis means 'relating to or resembling snow'.
"What a brilliant service!"
Cassandra Crouch, Garden Designer