January to March.
Cultivars, such as Queen Olga's snowdrop, begin to
flower in mid November.
It is found everywhere
For a map see the National Biodiversity Network Gateway
Snowdrops grow in damp woodland, hedge banks, grassland,
churchyards, roadside verges, parks and gardens and by
paths, cycle tracks and water bodies.
Snowdrop is a bulbous, clump-forming, perennial herb.
It is low growing (up to 20cm) and spreads by division of its bulb.
The flowers consist of 3 white outer petals and 3 inner ones,
white with a green pattern at the tips.
There are 6 yellow stamens and a single central, greenish,
Leaves are dark green and linear.
The double flowered variant G. nivalis Flore Pleno,
often occurs naturally where there are large colonies of
snowdrops - click on this link
Snowdrops used to be considered to be "probably native"
by Clapham, Tutin and Warburg (1958) in the Flora of the
British Isles, but are now considered to be a naturalised
alien in the New Atlas of the British and Irish Flora (2002)
by Preston, Pearman and Dines, which states that snowdrops
have been cultivated since the 1590s and naturalised in the
wild since the 1770s.
There are several natural variants and a large number of
M.J. Crawley has the following link on the web, which is
There are 4 main criteria
1. Leaf width
2. Leaf color (blue grey or bright grass green)
3. Leaf base (wrap-around or flat-facing)
4. Petal mark (mouth, base, both or solid)
Flowers en masse
Clump of Snowdrops
Individual flower - inner petal showing
Corolla view - 6 stamens, single central style
Double flower of G. nivalis Flore Pleno