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Green leaved snowdrops

The majority of snowdrops have leaves that are a distinctive bluish grey, glaucous colour. It usually comes as a suprise to people when they first realise that there are snowdrops with bright green leaves.

Indeed the first woronowii that I acquired were growing as non flowering plants from a pile of garden rubbish fly tipped in a remote spot. I took pity on them and transplanted them to my garden believing them to be immature bluebell bulbs. I was quite shocked to realise, on closer examination, that they were a snowdrop of a kind previously unknown to me.

Green leaved variants of normally grey leaved snowdrops do occur, but are relatively unusual. A number of species, however, have green leaves as the norm. Amongst snowdrops with flat (applanate) leaves, the Turkish species rizehensis and lagodechianus have green leaves.

Convolute snowdrops (those with folded leaves) contain several green leaved species; such as fosteri, woronowii, ikariae, platyphyllus and krasnovii. This superficial similarity has caused great confusion in the past as to what was what and what was related to what. Although recent work has cleared up the taxonomic confusion, there is still a muddle prevalent in the naming of many cultivated stocks. Galanthus woronowii still masquerades as most commercial offerings of both ikariae and platyphyllus.


Galanthus fosteri is a small species from south east Tu...


Galanthus platyphyllus grows high in the Caucasus mount...