Galanthus nivalis (Common Snowdrop)

Scientific Name

Galanthus nivalis L.

Common Names

Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop, Flower of Hope


Galanthus imperati, Chianthemum nivale, Galanthus alexandri, Galanthus melvillei, Galanthus montanus, Galanthus scharlokii, Galanthus umbricus, Galanthus alexandri

Scientific Classification

Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Tribe: Galantheae
Genus: Galanthus


Color: White
Bloom Time: Between January and April


Galanthus nivalis is a perennial, herbaceous plant up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall. The leaves are narrow, and grey-green in color. The plant flower in mid to late winter and it is one of the first signs of spring. The flowers are white, solitary, nodding, fragrant, up to 1 inch (2.5) cm long. The inner segments are marked with green at the tip.

Galanthus nivalis - Common Snowdrop


USDA hardiness zone 3a to 8b: from −40 °F (−40 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Snowdrops need some sunlight to bloom, but too much sun will 'melt' them – cause them to wither away. The dappled shade of a deciduous tree, before it has leafed out in the early spring, 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 less 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


Native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to Ukraine. It is found in Albania, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.


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