Galanthus elwesii Hook.f.
Greater Snowdrop, Elwes's Snowdrop, Giant Snowdrop
Galanthus elwesii var. elwesii, Chianthemum elwesii, Galanthus graecus f. maximus, Galanthus graecus var. maximus, Galanthus nivalis subsp. elwesii
Bloom Time: Early spring
Galanthus elwesii is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows up to 10 inches (25 cm) tall from a globose bulb up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. It produces two leaves, which are obtuse, linear, and blue-green. Flowers are globose, white, pendulous, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and have a pointed scape. The outer floral tepals are oblanceolate, with shorter inner tepals notched at the apex and taper towards their base with green patches apically and basally. The fruit forms a dehiscent capsule with three valves.
How to Grow and Care
Snowdrops need some sunlight to bloom, but too much sun will 'melt' them – causing them to wither away. Before it has leafed out in the early spring, the dappled shade of a deciduous tree is perfect.
Purchased Snowdrops are planted in the fall, but if a friend lifts some for you in the spring before the leaves have started to decline, they should take fine, too. Either way, plant them immediately. After flowering in the spring, let the foliage die back naturally. Snowdrops don't linger long, like daffodils or tulips. They'll disappear before you know it. Mark the area so you don't accidentally dig the bulbs when planting something else later in the season. In dry seasons, water periodically throughout the summer. For the most part, Snowdrops will take care of themselves. Large, established clumps may eventually have fewer blooms. At that point, you should consider digging them and dividing the clumps. Do this after flowering. The bulbs are small but plump and will break apart easily. Replant immediately.
It is possible to grow your Snowdrops in containers. You can squeeze them in quite close, but they'll still need to be at least 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) deep. In USDA Zones 5 to 6, your containers may need some winter protection.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Snowdrops.
This species is native to the Caucasus.
- Back to genus Galanthus
- Plantpedia: Browse flowering plants by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, or Origin
Click on a photo to see a larger version.
We participate in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliate sites.