It’s our annual Snowdrop Weekend this weekend on the 16th & 17th February so here’s some snowdrop facts!
1. There are 19 types of snowdrop!
Though you are likely to find only three varieties in your own garden.
2.They have Christian significance.
Often blooming in February or March the flower is often associated with the Feast of Purification also known as Candlemas which although now falls in early February was later according to the Julian Calendar.
3. They are not native to Britain!
The snowdrop’s origins come from Southern Europe and Asia Minor. Gilbert White himself living in Selborne in the Eighteenth Century would have likely only recognised the Galanthus Nivalis which is thought to have been brought over during the Crusades of the Middle Ages. Other species were brought over and made popular in the Nineteenth Century by soldiers returning from the Crimean War and by plants man Henry John Elwes who arranged the G. Elwisii species to be imported from Turkey in 1874 and now is seen growing in our gardens and woodlands.
4. There is a Selborne Snowdrop!
Selborne has several fine drifts of the native or common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) and the Crimean Snowdrop (Galanthus plicatus). However we are now trying to establish a colony of Selborne’s very own Galanthus elwesii ‘Selborne Green Tips’. This was first discovered in Selborne in 1982 by well-known galanthophiles Ruby and David Baker. This snowdrop has two excellent qualities: it is early flowering, and it can produce two flowers on a single stem. It has fine green markings on the tips of the white outer segments and V-shaped green markings with a broad green bar above on the white inner segments.’