Thursday, March 15, 2012

Plant Profile: Snowdrops

One of my favorite signs of spring is the lovely white snowdrop, a member of the Amaryllis family. I have them planted near the main entrance door of our house so I will be sure to see the leaves start to peak up through as the snow thaws. With a few warm days scattered in here and there the delicate flowers begin to bloom, usually lasting a couple of weeks.

I have heard of several varieties, however I believe mine is the most commonly found "Garden Snowdrop." The thin stems grow about 4 inches high, and 2 or 3 narrow leaves emerge with the stem, from the base of the plant. A slightly sweet, almost honey-like fragrance adds to the beauty of the flower which consists of 3 pure white lobes and shorter inner parts with distinct bright green spots.  The plant readily multiplies by offsets (small bulbs form along side the primary bulb) meaning a clump of Snowdrops will become quite dense within only a few years of planting.   Also, they seem to be pest-free as none of the deer, rabbits, or chipmunks who frequent our gardens have ever bothered with them at all.  This honey bee however is a welcome visitor!

Do any of you have these early bloomers in your yard?

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