Nature Blog Network

Snowdrops

I was pointed towards the BSBI's identification guide for snowdrops recently. In my ignorance I thought a snowdrop was a snowdrop but should have known better.

So armed with the guide off I went to look at the local snowdrops, sadly not wild.

snowdrop 200

The identifying features are:

leaf width: narrow or broad, i.e. wider or more narrow than the little finger nail
leaf colour: blue-grey or bright green
leaf base: wrap around or flat facing
petal mark: mouth, base, both or solid

Well the key wasn't difficult to apply to the local snowdrops. Leaf narrow is Galanthus nivalis. The next feature is single or double flowers, the double flowered version being G nivalis 'Flore Pleno'. Ours are single, so G nivalis it is then.

The guide continues to describe a wide variety of interesting petal marks, including sad faces and chromosomal patters. Unfortunately ours are not yet fully open so observation of petal markings will have to wait.