This is my first year growing the elusive but hardy spring snowflake.
I have taken contributor Brian Bixley’s admonishment to heart and I’m trying to get more early blooming plants in my garden. The gardening season is typically considered the time from the last spring frost to the first autumn frost. By that measurement, I have a short season garden. The only way to get a longer season of bloom is to focus on those plants that want to bloom when most of the world still considers the weather rather unpleasant.
Spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) definitely extends the season. I planted it on the north side of the house, and here it is blooming after the snowdrops but before the Dutch crocus and Siberian squills, which are in warmer locations. It has grown taller since I took this picture, standing about eight inches tall. Each flower is about an inch across. It is reputed to self-sow, and I am looking forward to having a patch of this early darling and eventually spread it in more locations.
Why Don’t More People Grow Spring Snowflake?
You would think with all this going for it, it would be a must-have plant for spring. According to Daffodils and More (where I got my spring snowflake), this hardy bulb is difficult to ship. When dug and cured like most other fall-planted bulbs, it tends to rot. I paid a premium price for this bulb’s special treatment, expecting that it won’t need special treatment in my garden and will be worth the investment. It sounds like it is a true passalong plant, thriving when it can be handed over the garden fence and replanted quickly.
It’s Not Summer Snowflake
Pay attention when you are ordering, and don’t get Leucojum aestivum, the summer snowflake, by mistake. It is an equally garden-worthy plant, with more numerous flowers on each stem, but it blooms later in spring, perhaps early summer. I have it in my garden as well, and I’m not saying don’t plant it, just don’t confuse it with the spring snowflake.