Snowdrops and Snowflakes
It’s not often it’s cold enough to keep me inside but today it is. It feels like snow. I was going to post about Snowdrops, (the bulbs not the weather) but after a little research, I realised that what I have are actually Snowflakes.
If I was a Galanthophile, I would be loving Snowdrops, but alas there’s no official title for Snowflake lovers.
Snowdrops’ botanical name is Galanthus. It comes from the Greek word ‘Gala’, meaning milk and ‘anthos’ meaning flower. Put them together and you have milk flowers. Galanthophiles are people who collect these beautiful bulbs. And there are more than 2300 different varieties. They are similar to, but different from, Snowflakes, and apparently are frequently mistaken for them.
Snowflakes, as I have discovered are often confused with them, especially where I live in Australia. What I have here are Leucojum. They are taller and they have more than one flower per stem. The feature I love is the little green dot on each petal.
When I was a young girl I was fascinated by these and I still am. My mother’s side of the family were all gardeners. Mum loved them too. There was always a clump or two of these snowy little plants around during winter.
Did you know Hans Christian Andersen wrote about a story and the life of a single Snowdrop flower? The snowdrop ends up being pleased to be a book mark in a book of poetry. He called it simply The Snowdrop. In my imagination I’ve always visualized them as snowflakes. Fancy learning that all these years later.
Snow drops are exquisite. I’m doubtful that they could withstand the harsh Australian conditions. But, I’m tempted to give them a try.