Soil: moderately-fertile, moist but well-drained alkaline to neutral soil. Snowdrops dislike acid soils.
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: an early flowering form, January into February
Hardiness: fully hardy
Bulb size: 5/6
Bulbous perennials providing the first brave flowers of the year. Snowdrops signify that spring is just waiting to unfold and gardeners should take heart. Their name comes from the Greek words 'gala', meaning milk, and 'anthos', meaning flower. Robust and tolerant of most soil types, wild snowdrops are commonly found on wooded upland and rocky outcrops throughout Europe and Western Asia, generally flowering from January to March.
Named after H.J. Elwes (1846-1922) an English sportsman and plant collector who collected the original plants in N.W. Turkey, G. elwesii is actually native to the extended area of Yugoslavia, Romania and the Ukraine south to Greece and western Turkey. Distinguished from other species by glaucous leaves neatly folded one inside the other. Flowers have two green spots on the inner petals which sometimes join to present a totally green inner face.
Garden care: Plants will seed readily, but tend to hybridise. To redistribute true to name, every 2-3 years lift and divide 'in the green' after flowering from March to May. Replant bulbs and take care to water in well.