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Posts Tagged ‘galanthus’

snowdrops

The winter isn’t here yet, but for northern gardeners, it is time to think of spring. Now is the time to finish planting the bulbs that will bring forth the first flowers of the new year. Among the earliest to bloom are snowdrops. This week, I planted a few near the entrance to the house so that we will be able to enjoy these heralds of warmer weather as we come and go.

The scientific name for common snowdrops is Galanthus nivalis. Galanthus is from the Greek gala (milk) and anthos (flower). Carl Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist, gave the genus its name in 1735. Nivalis means “of the snow”. The names, both the scientific and the common, are perfectly chosen. Snowdrops often bloom while there is still snow on the ground, poking their brave heads through little patches of bare ground. It’s a sight to warm the heart of any gardener after the long, cold winter.

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