Small perennial bulbous plant, widespread throughout Europe, the scientific name Galanthus nivalis is a delicate and particular flower, which, as its name suggests, blossoms in the woods in the middle of winter, even if covered in snow; the foliage develops in tufts, is green, slightly fleshy, erect. From the center of the tuft the leaves rise some thin stems that carry small bell-shaped flowers; snowdrop flowers have three inner petals, small, often streaked with bright green, and three outer petals, almost twice as long. Galanthus nivalis bulbs tend to produce cloves easily, so over the years they form large patches in the undergrowth, which then appears dotted with flowers.
Although you can admire these flowers in most of the Italian woods, some cultivars are also available for cultivation in the garden; remember that in these cases it is definitely preferable not to plunder the woods of their flowers, but go to the nursery and buy the cultivated bulbs; in this way we will avoid to disfigure the territory, and moreover we will be able to buy cultivars more suitable for cultivation in the garden.
The bulbs are small, and it is preferable to plant a good quantity of them, all fairly close and not too deep in the ground; they prefer bright but not sunny locations, especially in regions with a mild winter climate. Generally it is preferable to place these bulbous plants in a sunny area in winter, but sheltered from the leaves in summer, such as at the foot of a deciduous tree.
Cultivation Galanthus nivalis
The development of Galanthus nivalis is related to the climate, the foliage appears when the temperatures are lowered, the flowers bloom in full winter, and the air part of the plant begins to dry up at the arrival of the first warmths of the end of winter. If we live in places with a very hot summer climate we can grow snowdrops in the garden from autumn until winter, and uproot them when the foliage begins to turn yellow, to then place the bulbs in a cool, well-ventilated and dark place, until autumn . Generally Galanthus nivalis bulbs do not need care, they are planted in autumn, in a good rich and soft soil, then watered; later they will enjoy watering due to bad weather, and will need additional water only in the event of drought, and only when the first leaves begin to develop; avoid wetting the ground where the dormant bulbs rest, so as not to favor the development of rot.
Cultivating snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis: Together with snowdrops
The common name is very evocative, the Latin name Galanthus nivalis, it is equally so; but not only the snowdrops bloom under the snow. Walking in the winter woods we can come across other small jewels; first makes all the leucojum vernum, also called false snowdrops: small bells pointed with green, often confused for snowdrops. Along with this flower also bloom some species of Hellebore, also known as Christmas rose, with large white or pink flowers. In the weeks leading up to spring, the teeth of a dog bloom in the woods, other bulbous ones, with a fairly large, pink or lilac colored flower.