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Summer Snowflake

Leucojum aestivum

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
50 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, marshes, meadows, roadsides, rocky places.

White, 6 petals
White, green-tipped and nodding, bell-shaped petals, rarely pink. 4 to 8 flowers per cluster. Orange anthers. Similar looking to the Common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) but the petals have green tips. Pollinated by bees.
The fruit is a capsule. The seeds of the capsule ripen in July.
A bulbous perennial. Long linear leaves. A very common garden plant sometimes seen as a garden escape species. Throughout the British Isles, Summer Snowflake is the most common in the south of England.
Other Names:
Loddon Lily, St Agnes' Flower, St George's Violet, Summer Snowdrop.

Similar Species

Other Information


Leucojum aestivum, commonly known as summer snowflake, is a species of bulbous perennial plant in the Amaryllidaceae family. It is native to Europe, it is found in Italy, Spain, France, and the Balkans. It typically grows to a height of 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) with a spread of 3-5 inches (8-13 cm). The plant has narrow, linear leaves and small, white, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in late spring to early summer. The flowers have a distinctive appearance, they have six tepals, three outer tepals with a green mark at the base and three inner tepals that are pure white. The flowers are pendent from the stem, and they appear in clusters. The flowers are larger and more delicate than those of Leucojum vernum. This species is hardy in USDA zones 4-8 and it prefers well-drained soils, it's also tolerant to cold and shade, it's often used as a ground cover, in mixed borders, naturalized areas and rock gardens.


Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) is a beautiful, bulbous perennial plant that produces charming bell-shaped flowers. It belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae and is native to southern and central Europe, including the UK. Summer Snowflake is known for its tall, erect stems, which can grow up to 50cm in height and bear several drooping, pure white flowers with green spots.

Summer Snowflake flowers in late spring or early summer, hence its name. The flowers are fragrant and attractive to bees, making them a great addition to any garden. They grow well in sun or partial shade and prefer well-drained soil. Summer Snowflake can be planted in a group to create a stunning display, and its flowers also make excellent cut flowers.

Summer Snowflake is a relatively low-maintenance plant, and its bulbs can be left undisturbed for several years. They are also resistant to pests and diseases, making them a reliable choice for gardeners. However, it is important to note that all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, so it should be planted with care, especially around children and pets.

There are several cultivars of Summer Snowflake available, each with its unique characteristics. 'Gravetye Giant' is a larger form of the species, with flowers that can grow up to 6cm long. 'Green Snowflake' has green-tipped petals, while 'Summer Moonlight' has larger flowers with a green-yellow center.

In addition to its ornamental value, Summer Snowflake has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches and respiratory problems. However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using any plant-based remedies.

Summer Snowflake is an exquisite plant that adds charm and elegance to any garden. Its beauty, low maintenance, and resistance to pests and diseases make it an excellent choice for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Summer Snowflake is not just a beautiful plant but also has some interesting historical and cultural significance. In the Victorian language of flowers, Summer Snowflake symbolizes purity and sweetness, making it a popular choice for wedding bouquets and floral arrangements. The flowers were also used in ancient times to decorate altars and in religious ceremonies.

Summer Snowflake has been cultivated for centuries for both its ornamental and medicinal properties. The bulbs of the plant contain galanthamine, a compound that has been shown to be effective in treating Alzheimer's disease. Galanthamine is also used in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, a neuromuscular disorder.

While Summer Snowflake is a popular garden plant, it is also endangered in its native habitats. Habitat loss, climate change, and over-harvesting have led to a decline in wild populations of Summer Snowflake. To help protect this species, many botanical gardens and conservation organizations have started conservation efforts to preserve the plant and its habitat.

Summer Snowflake is not only a stunning plant with attractive blooms, but it also has historical, cultural, medicinal, and ecological significance. Its beauty and versatility have made it a popular choice among gardeners and florists alike. As we continue to appreciate the beauty and value of Summer Snowflake, we must also remember to protect and conserve this precious species for future generations to enjoy.

Summer Snowflake is a great plant for attracting pollinators to your garden. The flowers are a source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, making it an important plant for maintaining biodiversity in your garden.

In addition to its use as a garden plant, Summer Snowflake has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has been used to treat a range of ailments, including coughs, headaches, and fever. However, it is essential to note that the plant is toxic and should only be used under the guidance of a trained herbalist or healthcare professional.

Summer Snowflake is also a great plant for naturalizing. Once established, the bulbs will multiply and spread, creating a lovely carpet of white flowers. They are also deer-resistant, making them a great choice for gardens in areas with high deer populations.

Finally, Summer Snowflake is a great plant for companion planting. It can be planted alongside other bulbs, such as daffodils and tulips, to provide a beautiful display of spring color. It can also be planted with other perennials, such as lavender and sage, to provide year-round interest in the garden.

In conclusion, Summer Snowflake is a versatile plant that is both beautiful and beneficial. It provides a stunning display of white flowers, attracts pollinators, has historical and cultural significance, and can be used in naturalizing and companion planting. With its many benefits, it's no wonder that Summer Snowflake has been a popular garden plant for centuries.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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