Galanthus L.


Greek gala – milk, anthos –flower, referring to the white droplet flowers.

Perennial herbs with bulbs. Leaves 2 with a tubular membranous sheath. Flowers 1(2) on a cylindrical or flattened stalk; early spring. Perianth nodding, the segments free, white, the inner ones much shorter than the outer, and generally with a green spot at the notched tip and/or base. Spathe bracts 2 usually split on one side. Stamens short with anthers attached at the base and opening by a terminal pore. Fruit capsule opening by 3 valves; seeds brown and with an attachment.

Grown in cool climate gardens for the dainty pendulous white flowers. Mainly a plant for collectors' gardens. Only the commoner species are described.


Characteristic hanging white flowers with the inner and outer perianth whorls different cf. Leucojum.

About 17 species from Europe to western Asia and the Caucasus.

Stern (1956), Yeo (1975), Davis (1999).

Source: Spencer, R.; Hay, A.; Ashburner, W. (2005). Amaryllidaceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

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kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Lilianae
order      Asparagales
family       Amaryllidaceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Galanthus elwesii Hook.f.
species         Galanthus nivalis L.