Height 20-45cm (8-18in)
Planting distance 7.5-10cm (3-4in)
Flowers winter and spring
Moisture retentive fertile
Full sun or partial shade
Bulbs available in autumn
The delicate white bell-shapedof snowflakes are similar to those of snowdrops, except that they are more rounded and are carried on taller stems. Their foliage is like that of a daffodil -long, narrow and green. Two species are hardy enough to grow outdoors. They like full sun or partial shade.
Leucojum aestiuum, commonly known as the summer snowflake, has nodding white green-tipped, bell-shaped flowers that appear in clusters at the top of 45cm (1/2ft) high stems. They bloom in mid to late spring among clumps of spiky fresh green leaves. Summer snow-flake thrives in moist conditions — the ground around a garden pool is an excellent site for them. ‘Gravetye Giant’ is a large, robust form suitable for a shady site. Leucojum vernum has similar flowers to L. aestivum but they appear in late winter and early spring. The 20cm (8in) high plants naturalize well in damp grassy places – they’re also useful for cheering up a rockery when little else is in flower. Bear in mind that they tolerate partial shade as well as full sun.
Plant the bulbs as soon as they are available in late summer or early autumn. Plant 7.5-10cm (3-4in) deep in moisture retentive, humus-rich soil. Leave undisturbed for several years.
When the groups become overcrowded, producing too many leaves and too few flowers, lift and divide as the leaves die down. Replant at once, giving the offsets the same spacing and depth as you would fresh new bulbs.
Pests and diseases