And now the Snowdrops

According to my records, I have noted the first emergence of Woodland Snowdrops on 16 occasions. This year’s flowering, as with Winter Aconite has been witnessed on the earliest date on record, being the 30th December. The full range of dates from 30th December right through to 20th January. Another 2011 oddity in that Woodland Snowdrops was noted flowering twice in one year.

Snowdrops Greyfriars Dunwich 220211 7346

The above picture courtesy of Finn Holding’s Flickr site.

Woodland Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis

Known by its various vernacular names such as Candlemas Bells, Snow Piercers and Dingle-dangle to name a few, the Woodland Snowdrop is a joy to see when it first emerges. The Woodland Snowdrop’s Greek name Galanthus comes from the word “milk flower” and it is the British version is one of a genus of at least 20 members. Some members of the genus do actually bloom in summer or autumn despite the name but thankfully, that appears not to be an issue with Galanthus nivalis. The Woodland Snowdrop has leaf tips especially hardened for breaking through frozen ground. Having similar traits to Winter Aconite both can be blooming for the first time on the exact same date. However, the Woodland Snowdrop tends to bloom for longer than the Winter Aconite and is well-known as being a winter and spring survivor. I have personal records of the Woodland Snowdrop still being in bloom in early to mid April.

Its history links the flower to various places of monastic origin and it has a tendency to thrive on sites such as long since destroyed cottage ruins. There are many gardens in the United Kingdom where people can go to see vast carpets of these wondrous plants and they open up their grounds especially for this purpose.

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

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Comments (

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  1. madmikedavies

    Tony,
    Thanks for stopping by my climate site, take a look at my Portugal site

    http://visitjunceira.wordpress.com/

    Mad Mike Junceira

  2. Watching Seasons

    I’ve enjoyed seeing Snowdrops here in the States- though I usually see them in February. I need to start looking earlier!

  3. Steve Schwartzman

    Although I’ve seen a few late-autumn holdovers that are still flowering into January here in central Texas, I haven’t seen any early spring species flowering yet, even though I’ve been on the lookout for them and the weather has been unusually warm.

  4. Keeping up to date with nature’s news | naturestimeline

    […] nest being built. You can see a typical Long-tailed Tit’s nest illustrated here. Woodland Snowdrops which were mentioned in a previous post of mine, are generally going over now but new plant and […]

  5. Late 2012 winter stirrings | naturestimeline

    […] It may only be the 1st January but just as last year, there was some unseasonal activity. Firstly, in the form of flowering Woodland Snowdrops and secondly, flowering Winter Aconite, blooming around the same dates as in 2012, see here and also here […]

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