After a long winter here in Minnesota we look forward to the first signs of spring. A family tradition has been to attend the pancake breakfast at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. While walking through the tapped maple trees the first Snowdrops of spring can always be found with their nodding white flowers emerging from the leaf litter. Some years they will even be blooming through the snow. Snowdrops signal the beginning of spring in Minnesota.
BOTANICAL NAME Galanthus nivalis
COMMON NAME Snowdrop
DESCRIPTION Snowdrop is a true harbinger of spring, being one of the earliest blooming plants in the Twin Cities area. Will often poke its head up through snow cover if present. Each bulb produces 2-3 narrow, linear, basal leaves and a leafless flower scape which is topped with a single, nodding, white, waxy, bell-shaped flower with green tips or dots on a few petals.
HEIGHT 6 inches
WIDTH 6 inches
ZONES 3 to 8
EXPOSURE Full Sun to Part Shade
FLOWER COLOR White
BLOOM SEASON Spring
COMPANION PLANTS Later blooming plants like Dicentra, Athyrium, Polmonaria
GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS Easily grown in average well-drained soils. Grows best under deciduous trees to get protect from sun later in the season. Plant bulbs 2-3” down and apart. Allow foliage to yellow before removing to allow plant to store energy for next year’s bloom. Spreads by self-seeding and offsets.
NOTES The common name refers to the supposed resemblance of the flowers to drops of snow. Tolerates black walnuts, clay soil, and deer.