SNOWDROP

COMMON SNOWDROP

Galanthus nivalis

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]  
Formerly in: Lily Family [Liliaceae]

month8jan month8feb month8mar month8march

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8white
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ3 petalsZ6 petalsZ3+3
3+3
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZlowish
 



11th February 2016, Compstall Navidation, Etherow valley, Marple, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
A typical woodland habitat.


12th Feb 2010, River Lune, Scorton, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Each bulb produces just two or three long narrow, greyish-green linear grass-like leaves but which are stiffer and thicker than grass.


2nd March 2010, Bretton, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
At the top of each leafless flower stalk hangs suspended a single white flower, hung loosely from a thin pedicel.


1st March 2008, Lathkilldale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
There are three white narrow outer 'petals' (really tepals) and three inner white tepals half as long as the outer three.


13th Feb 2009, Standish, Greater Mcr. Photo: © RWD
Before the flowers droop, they are held 'head-in-palms', 'hear-no-evil' like by two bract-like spathe valves joined by a papery membrane. [Top of photo]. The bracts later open releasing the flower to droop downwards [bottom of photo].


1st March 2008, Lathkilldale, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The three outer tepals splay outwards; the three inner tepals remain close together. The inner tepals have a slight notch at the end where a light-green coloured chevron resides, nestling in and astride the two tips of the tepal. The leaves are pointed at the ends.


2nd March 2007, Kettleshulme, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Hardle ever seen unless the flower is up-turned, the inner surface of the inner tepals have light-green strips; around the edge is a white border. Six yellow anthers are well hidden within the depths of the flower.


2nd March 2007, Kettleshulme, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The three-celled ovary can just be seen emerging from the centre of the six yellow anthers.



POSSIBLY THE CULTIVAR G. nivalis 'Atkinsii'
or the hybrid G. nivalis × plicatus

7th March 2009, Clitheroe, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
A backdrop of Snowdrop. Snowdrops are perennial bulbs that flower early in the year even amongst snow in the very cold.


7th March 2009, Clitheroe, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The green marks prominent at the tip of each inner tepal are, in this case upturned 'u-shapes' rather than chevrons. The inner side of the bract which once held the flower-head upright is a papery white. The outer petals are also longer and less wide.


7th March 2009, Clitheroe, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
From above the three outer narrow tepals are splayed widely apart at 120 degrees whilst the inner tepals appear skirt-like, with a green frilly edge.



A DOUBLE-FLOWERED SNOWDROP (G. nivalis)

 Mutations Menu

14th Feb 2017, Salwick, Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Double-flowered versions of common Snowdrop are quite common, perhaps becoming commoner. The petals are splayed out wider like a lamp-shade to accommodate the extra inner petals which have proliferated in profusion.


14th Feb 2017, Salwick, Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The petiole of Snowdrops are very floppy allowing the flower to droop down, but this makes photography of the insides tricky, so here it has been lain face-up amidst moss, showing a sterling proliference of nested flowers, inner petals and stamens showing.


14th Feb 2017, Salwick, Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Presumably the white centre is/are the style(s), which also seems quite fat.


Easily confused with : other Snowdrops and their hybrids, and also with Snowflake (Genus: Leucojum).

Hybridises with :

  • Greater Snowdrop Galanthus elwesii to produce Galanthus elwesii × nivalis
  • Pleated Snowdrop Galanthus plicatus to produce Galanthus plicatus × nivalis

Instantly recognisable as: a Snowdrop (but which one...).

There are numerous cultivars of (Common) Snowdrop, some of which are double-flowered forms. Over 500 cultivars and hybrids with other Snowdrops have been described.


  Galanthus nivalis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Alliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Daffodil family8Alliaceae family8onion family8garlic

 BSBI maps
genus8Galanthus
Galanthus
(Snowdrops)

SNOWDROP

COMMON SNOWDROP

Galanthus nivalis

Onion & Garlic Family [Alliaceae]  
Formerly in: Lily Family [Liliaceae]

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