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White Fever or Galanthomania


This blog ought to come with a government health warning. Firstly if you don’t like snowdrops or think one snowdrop is just like another it will bore you silly. Secondly, if you do like the pictures, there is a danger that you may be moved to join the band of snowdrop-nuts. Not very healthy for the bank balance. So with this warning in mind, here are a few pictures and words.

Galanthus elwesii “Cedrics Prolific”

This one is a handsome plant with some nice green lines on the outer petals. As its name implies, it reputedly clumps up quickly. Here’s hoping

Galanthus elwesii Jessica

This is another good green tipped snowdrop. Unfortunately the lines on the base of the outer petals haven’t shown up particularly well, but notice the difference on the markings on the inner petals between this and Cedric’s Prolific. Also slower to increase.

Galanthus elwesii Marjorie Brown

No green markings on the outer, an inverted green heart on the inner and a vigorous garden plant. Its fairly readily available and a good addition to any garden

Galanthus elwesii

This is a picture of two flowers from a pot of 10 purchased at a local garden centre. Of the 10 bulbs there were seven with different markings, these were two of the best. There is already a clone called Grumpy, I thought I’d call the one on the left Downright Angry! This is just to illustrate that it is worth looking at the snowdrops in the garden centres, you never know what you’ll find

Galanthus Benhall Beauty

Beautiful markings on the inner petals

Galanthus Angelique

On of the poculiform snowdrops. Poculiform being Latin ( or Greek, I can’t remember which ) for cup-shaped. The inner petals are the same length as the outers, which accounts for the shape. In Angelique there are green marks to be seen, where as most poculiforms are all white.

Galanthus Brenda Troyle

One of my favourites, certainly not rare but seems to grow and increase anywhere. Always lifts my spirits when I see a clump in bloom

Galanthus Headbourne

I don’t think the picture does this one justice but it’s a lovely shaped flower

Galanthus Jacquenetta

One of a group of double snowdrops, bred by the eccentric Heyrick Greatorex by crossing nivalis flore-pleno with plicatus. I have many of the named forms, but they are very similar and even the snowdrop experts have trouble separating them. However Jacquenetta is one of the more easily recognised by its heavy green markings.

Galanthus James Backhouse

A form of G. Atkinsii said to produce deformed flowers on a regular basis. As you can see all good flowers in this bunch, so I’m thinking it’s a case of mistaken identity. Its a nice snowdrop anyway.

Galanthus Kildare

A large flowered snowdrop. Heavy marked with green on the inners and thin green stripes on the outers. This one just past it’s best.

Galanthus Lapwing

Definitely a favourite with me. Medium sized flowers but notice the lovely markings on the inner petals, no marking on the outers. It’s said to be one that will increase well. Here’s hoping!

Galanthus nivalis Blonde Inge

Not the most spectacular of snowdrops, it has a green ovary and yellow marking on the inners. Not the brightest of yellow I admit but having seen a nice clump of it this year (not in my garden unfortunately) I can say it’s quite impressive in numbers.

Galanthus nivalis poculiformis

This little cup is all white which is normal for the “pocs”

Galanthus nivalis sandersii

Sandersii is the name given to the group of nivalis which have yellow ovaries and markings on the inner petals. Most of the sandersii group seem to have originated in the north of England especially Northumberland.

Galanthus sandersii Cambo Estate form

This little group was seen in a trough at Colesborne Park earlier this year, the yellow being particularly bright. Colesborne holds a fabulous collection of snowdrops in its grounds and is well worth a visit. The Cambo Estate, situated in Scotland, is another site for snowdrops fanatics for travel to. I’ve since managed to pick up one of the Cambo forms and I’m looking forward to seeing it flower next year.

Galanthus nivalis Viridapice

A really worthwhile garden plant with lovely green markings on the tips of the outer petals.

!Galanthus plicatus Percy Picton

Large flowers on tall scapes (stems) carried on the end of long pedicles (the thinner part of the stem carrying the flower). Good markings on the inners and it can produce two flowers per bulb. Who could ask for more from a snowdrop?

Galanthus plicatus Augustus

A pot full of Augustus makes a stunning site. Notice the puckered texture of the outer petals. Said to be virused, it grows and increases well

Galanthus plicatus Diggory

Another with puckered outers. A favourite with galanthophiles for its unique shape. In full bloom the bottom of the outer petals curve inwards forming a flat-bottomed flower

Galanthus plicatus The Pearl

This one is said to take a little time to settle after being moved before regaining it’s full glory. When settled the flower is said to resemble a pearl drop

Galanthus plicatus Wendy’s Gold

A plicatus with yellow inner markings and ovaries. Said to be several clones with different colours ranging from apple-green to bright yellow. After several years I’ve found that the more light it gets the brighter are the yellow markings. Increases well in the garden but not really forming a clump.

Galanthus Sybil Roberta

Another Greatorex Doubles. According to the snowdrop bible “Snowdrops. A monograph of Cultivated Galanthus” this is said to be the same as Dionysus. However I’m not too sure as I have a clump of each of them, planted in the same bed under the same conditions, Sybil Roberta always flowers about 2 weeks before Dionysus and have better formed flowers. Whatever the truth of the matter Sybil Roberta is a nice double.

Galanthus Wasp

The shape and markings of this unusual snowdrop flower makes it easy to see how it got its name.

Galanthus x Whittington

Kindly given to me by fellow GYOer, Owdboggy, is this elegant little snowdrop. Seems to be doing well in the garden in several positions.

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I didn't realise that there were so many different varieties - some lovely, clear photos. Well done !

26 Apr, 2011


what a super blog. and a long time no see. are you well?

I must have a closer look next year :o)

26 Apr, 2011


They are all beautiful, I love them! :)))

26 Apr, 2011


Hi Seaburngirl, yes I am well thank you. I just don't seem to have had a spare moment for months. Hope you are on top form. Mariek, at last count over 2000 varieties I believe, however the differences on some of them are minute but a complete collection will never be possible. Michaella, careful I detect the first signs of White Fever :-))

26 Apr, 2011


blog a long time coming but well worth the wait,the Sandersii Cambo form looks very impressive,
Paul. I plan to chop a couple up (not expensive ones) in the next couple of weeks we will see what happens

27 Apr, 2011


I wish you success Brian. You certainly have a lot of success with primulas and although the method isnt the same, the skill and patience needed is.

28 Apr, 2011


Lovely photos, and interesting to see all the various types. I think I'll try to get some different varieties for my garden

30 Apr, 2011


Don't much pay attention to official warnings, and this was no exception. Love snowdrops, love your pics and blog! Many Thanks for posting. :-))

7 May, 2011


Many thanks Hywel and David but you had been warned :-)

8 May, 2011


Lovely blog,really enjoyed seeing all the different varieties, I love snowdrops too been busy over the past 4-5 years trying to fill our small wooded area with them, ordering a few more in the green each year,and splitting the ones we have, looking at them today its starting to pay off, found one particular one that looked different to the others, quite a small flower looks very like your 'Jessica' as all the inner petals are green but with 2000 !!!!!!! varieties suppose I'll never know for sure.

23 Feb, 2012

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