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The Amaryllis Family: Galanthus

Galanthus is a genus in the amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae. These are small bulbs from the Mediterranean region and Central Asia, and they seem to be hardy over much of the North Temperate Zone.

Galanthus elwesii

Galanthus elwesii (Giant Snowdrop) in February. This species blooms slightly ahead of the Common Snowdrop in my garden. The foliage is broad, and the two leaves wrap around each other and the bloom stalk where they emerge from the ground. The foliage is glaucous, a dull gray green color. The flowers have green markings on the outside of the three inner petals both at the base and at the tips. Sepals are ca 24 mm long; leaves are 20 mm wide. My Accession #600.

Galanthus nivalis

This is the Common Snowdrop. Its foliage is linear, a narrow strap-like form similar to a mini trumpet daffodil. The green markings on the outside of the petal (the inner three segments of the perianth) are found only on the tips. They are however variable, and can be yellow or absent in some forms. Sepals are 6 mm wide and 17 mm long; leaves are ca. 5.5 to 6 mm wide.

Galanthus woronowii

Usually labeled Galanthus ikariae latifolius in commerce. The foliage is broad and bright, shiny green in color. The green mark on the outside of the inner three petals is only on the tips. The base of the petal is white. The natural range of G. woronowii is Russia, the Caucasus, and adjacent parts of Turkey and Iran.

Forms Growing in my Garden

This is a flower on my Acc. #426.
These plants have sepal width = ca. 6 mm;
sepal length = 17 mm.; leaf width = 5.5 mm.
This is Galanthus, Acc. #606.
Sepal width = ca. 6 mm; sepal length = 20 mm;
leaf width = 5.5 to 6 mm.

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Last updated on 14 February 2013
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