Galanthus nivalis

Jesmond Dene has a good show of Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) this February, drifts merge to form carpets of green and white. Galanthus derives from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘white flower’; nivalis is Latin for snowy. A member of the family Amaryllidacae, it usually flowers before the Spring Equinox and although naturalised is not thought to be native to the British Isles.

Common Snowdrop

A closer view shows the linear grass like leaves, three outer and inner ‘tepals’ and green chevron shape shapes on inner tepals.

Double flowered Snowdrop

Double flowered varieties of common Snowdrop are relatively common, their flower is more lamp shade shaped.

Double flowered Snowdrop
Greater Snowdrop

The Greater Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) had wider leaves with hooded tips. It is larger than the common variety with green markings that extend over the whole inner tepals.

Greater snowdrop close up.
Green Snowdrop

Galanthus woronowii, the Green snowdrop has much brighter green leaves, slightly more pleated and distinctly notched inner tepals. Both of these subspecies occur along Jesmond Vale Lane.

Green Snowdrop showing notches.


Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland -Blamey, Fitter & Fitter 2013

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