Common snowdrops are long lived and lend themselves to dividing and naturalizing in the landscape. (Richie Steffen)

Common snowdrops are long lived and lend themselves to dividing and naturalizing in the landscape. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Galanthus nivalis aka common snowdrops

Once established, the bulbs are long lived and lend themselves to dividing and naturalizing in the landscape.

What: Galanthus nivalis, also known as the common snowdrop, is a favorite prolific and reliable early-spring bulb for the Northwest garden. Its delicate flowers appear in mid- to late February. Its outer pure white petals partly cover the inner petals, which are tipped with a characteristic green V-shaped mark. White blooms are set off by the narrow, glaucous gray-green leaves. Once established, the bulbs are long lived and lend themselves to dividing and naturalizing in the landscape. Large clumps are best divided after flowering and before the foliage dies back for the summer. This is one of the smallest and most enchanting of the snowdrops.

Where: Plant this snowdrop in a site that receives full sun or light to open shade in late winter and early spring. It likes a rich well-drained soil.

Size: This deciduous blub grows to be 5 inches tall and 2 inches wide when mature.

Care: The common snowdrop requires occasional watering during the summer. Unlike many bulbs, they do not like to dry out in the summer. It is best to plant bulbs while they are dormant, large clumps should be divided immediately after flowering before the foliage dies back for the summer.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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