The snowdrops are flowering in the Hortus! Have you been bitten by the snowdrop bug and already a true galanthophile (i.e. an enthusiastic collector of snowdrops)? In any case come and visit the Hortus, and perhaps you’ll be overcome by these delicate but very hardy plants. You can find them mostly in the Larmantuin and the rock garden.

Snowdrops are bulbs that flower in the early Spring, and they are related to the daffodils. The official name for the “simple” snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis, which comes from Greek and means milk flower in the snow. The snowdrop stands for the hope and expectation of renewal we all have from Spring. There are at least 20 varieties and also more than 500 cultivars (that have been selected and propagated by humans). Galanthophiles are very busy at this time of year and travel far and wide to look for special examples and go to special snowdrop festivals and events. Some bulbs go for more than 100 English pounds a piece. The most expensive purchase so far has been the Galanthus ‘Elizabeth Harrison’, a snowdrop with yellow gold accents; it changed hands for no less than £725.00!

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