Growing Galanthus for Cut Flowers

The elegant, rather rare Grecian Snowdrop, Galanthus algae, with long, glaucous leaves and pure white flowers, blooms from the middle of September and throughout October, and prefers a rather more sheltered dryish position than other sorts, while the rather similar G. octobrensis blooms in October and early November. This is followed by another little-known form, G. rachelae, which is sometimes to be had in bloom during November and early December.

G. cilicicus flowers from the middle of November and is a slender-growing, hardy variety, with greyish-green leaves. G. byzantinus, with long, broad foliage and large, tubular blooms, flowers from the end of the year. G. imperati begins to flower very early in the New Year and its form known as ‘Atkins? Is a really magnificent snowdrop, the large, snow-white flowers having long, outer petals with inner segments of dark green. It is a strong-growing variety with stems sometimes reaching 9 or 10 in.


G. elwesii is distinct and beautiful, having broad, grey-green, ribbed leaves. The large, pure-white globular flowers have their inner segments marked with emerald-green, and are freely produced on 9 in. stems during February and March, when they are excellent for cutting.

G. nivalis is the variety usually distributed as the single snowdrop, and is commonly to be found in this country and in many parts of Europe. When established it flowers very freely, and so is particularly suited for naturalising in grass or shrubberies. The blooms appear over a long period from January to March, the inner segments having a green mark on the edges. The well-known double snowdrop is G. nivalis, fore plena, and is equally free flowering.

Two other forms of G. nivalis are worthy of note, scharloki a most distinct and striking variety which has green spots at the tips of the outer petals, and nivalis viride-apice, which also has green-tipped petals.

For best results all snowdrops should be planted not less than 4 in. deep. Where grown in a well-drained position the bulbs may be left for years, during which time they will bloom freely, especially if a top dressing of well-decayed manure or compost material is applied each early autumn.

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