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Spring Snowflake

Leucojum vernum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
30 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, rocky places, scrub, woodland.

White, 6 petals
The hanging flowers are broadly bell-shaped and green-tipped (sometimes yellow-tipped). Flowers can be either solitary or paired and measure between 13 and 22mm across. Orange anthers. Flower stalks are minutely toothed. Spring Snowflake has an intermediate appearance between Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum) and Common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis).
The fruit is a capsule.
A clump-forming bulbous perennial with dark green, strap-shaped leaves. Untoothed. Erect stems. The leaves appear at the same time as the flowers. Occasionally seen as a garden escape species.
Other Names:
Agnes Flower, Spring-flowered Snowflake.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Leucojum vernum, commonly known as spring snowflake, is a species of bulbous perennial plant in the Amaryllidaceae family. It is native to Europe and Western Asia. It typically grows to a height of 8-12 inches (20-30 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 winter to early spring. 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 resemble those of Galanthus, but they are larger and have a more delicate appearance. 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.


Spring Snowflake, also known as Leucojum vernum, is a charming perennial plant that blooms in late winter to early spring. Native to Europe, this small bulbous plant belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae and is a member of the Leucojum genus.

The name "snowflake" is aptly given to this plant, as it produces small, bell-shaped white flowers that resemble snowflakes. The flowers emerge on leafless stalks that can reach up to 30cm in height. Each flower is made up of six petals - three larger and three smaller ones. The plant's leaves are long and slender, and they emerge after the flowers have finished blooming.

Spring Snowflake is an easy plant to grow and care for. It prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade to full sun. It can tolerate light frost and can even grow in heavy clay soil. The bulbs should be planted in the fall, around September or October, at a depth of about 10cm. They can be left in the ground for several years and will naturalize over time, forming large clumps.

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Spring Snowflake has a number of medicinal properties. The plant contains alkaloids that have been shown to have anticholinesterase and antiviral activity. It has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, rheumatism, and epilepsy.

Spring Snowflake is a great addition to any garden, especially those with a woodland or naturalized theme. It pairs well with other spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils and crocuses. The plant's delicate white flowers add a touch of elegance to any landscape, and its hardiness and ease of care make it a perfect choice for novice and experienced gardeners alike.

Spring Snowflake, Leucojum vernum, is a delightful perennial plant that blooms in late winter to early spring. With its delicate white flowers and slender leaves, it adds a touch of elegance to any garden. It is also easy to grow and care for, making it a great choice for both novice and experienced gardeners. If you're looking for a charming and low-maintenance plant to add to your garden, Spring Snowflake is definitely worth considering.

Aside from its ornamental and medicinal value, Spring Snowflake also has cultural significance. In folklore, it is said to represent purity and innocence, and is associated with the goddess Brigid, who was the protector of the hearth and home. In Christian tradition, the plant symbolizes the resurrection of Christ and is sometimes referred to as the Easter Snowflake.

Spring Snowflake is also a favorite of bees and other pollinators, making it a great choice for eco-friendly gardening. By providing a source of early nectar and pollen, it helps to support the insect population and promote biodiversity.

If you're planning to grow Spring Snowflake in your garden, there are a few things to keep in mind. While the plant is hardy and can tolerate a range of soil types and light conditions, it prefers moist, well-drained soil and partial shade. Be sure to plant the bulbs at the correct depth and spacing, and water them regularly during the growing season. Once the flowers have finished blooming, allow the foliage to die back naturally, as this will help to feed the bulbs for next year's growth.

In terms of landscaping, Spring Snowflake is a versatile plant that can be used in a variety of settings. It works well in borders, rock gardens, and woodland gardens, and can also be used in containers and window boxes. It pairs well with other spring-blooming bulbs such as crocuses, hyacinths, and tulips, as well as with perennial plants like hostas, ferns, and astilbes.

Spring Snowflake is a charming and easy-to-grow plant that offers a range of benefits for gardeners and wildlife alike. With its delicate white flowers, cultural significance, and medicinal properties, it is a great addition to any garden. So why not plant a few bulbs this fall and enjoy the beauty of Spring Snowflake in your garden next spring?

One of the interesting things about Spring Snowflake is that it's often confused with another plant called Snowdrop, which is also a member of the Amaryllidaceae family. Snowdrops are smaller and have only three petals, whereas Spring Snowflakes have six petals. Additionally, the leaves of Snowdrops are wider and more strap-like than those of Spring Snowflakes.

Spring Snowflakes are also sometimes called "spring bulbs" because they bloom early in the year, often before the last frost. This can make them a bit tricky to grow in some areas, as they may be damaged by late freezes or heavy snow. However, they are generally hardy and can survive in a wide range of climates.

If you're interested in growing Spring Snowflakes in your garden, there are a few different varieties to choose from. Some of the most popular include 'Gravetye Giant', which has larger flowers than the standard variety, and 'Flore Pleno', which has double flowers. There is also a variety called 'Aestivum', which blooms in the summer rather than the spring.

In terms of propagation, Spring Snowflakes can be grown from seed, but they usually take several years to bloom. The easiest and most reliable way to propagate them is by dividing the bulbs in the fall. This should be done every three to five years to prevent overcrowding and maintain the health of the plant.

In conclusion, Spring Snowflake is a lovely and versatile plant that offers a range of benefits for gardeners and wildlife. With its delicate white flowers, cultural significance, and medicinal properties, it's a great choice for any garden.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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