Wednesday, 7 January 2015

"Be it ever so 'umble" - the noble snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis


 A bit of etymology: "Galanthus" means with milk-white flowers, the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, means snowy. The flowers have narrow glaucous leaves, from the Latin "glaucus" meaning bluish green or grey.  And a "bulb" is a rounded underground storage organ. The romance of the snowdrop.
And here is my first clump, in a warm patch, protected by trees and beech hedge. They are the same snowdrops as all the other clumps save that their less advanced fellows are more exposed, less sheltered, and only now beginning to show white at the tips. Here the white flowers stand out from the chestnut brown of the beech leaves. I paid pennies for ten dried bulbs many years ago. They cover the garden now. The common snowdrop: and as welcome as any of my highly priced, albeit highly prized, aristocrats.

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