Thursday 4 August 2016


Leucojum is a small genus of bulbous plants belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family, subfamily Amaryllidoideae native to Eurasia. As currently circumscribed the genus includes only two known species Leucojum aestivum L. - summer snowflake or Loddon lily (Europe, Middle East, Caucasus; naturalised in Australia + North America) and Leucojum vernum L. - spring snowflake (southern + central Europe from Spain to Ukraine).  Leucojum is a compound of Greek λευκος, leukos "white" and ἰόν, ion "violet". The spelling Leucoium is also used. Other common names include snowbell, dewdrop, and St. Agnes' flower.

The snowflakes are native to central and southern Europe, from the Pyrenees to Romania and western Russia, but they have been introduced and have naturalised in many other areas, including the east coast of North America. They have narrow, strap-like, dark green leaves. The flowers are small and bell-shaped, white with a green (or occasionally yellow) spot at the end of each tepal. They have a slight fragrance.

Leucojum vernum (Spring snowflake) normally grows 15-20 cm tall, though it may reach up to 35 cm. It flowers one or two weeks later than the snowdrops, i.e., from mid-February to March, as soon as the snow melts in its wild habitat. Two varieties are known: L. vernum var. vernum with green spots on its tepals, and L. vernum var. carpathicum, which originates from the eastern part of its natural range, a larger plant with yellowish spots on its tepals; 'vagneri' from Hungary is a robust variant of var. vernum, often with two flowers per stem.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


  1. Such delicate, pretty flowers. Thank you for clarifying the distinction between Snowdrops and Snowflakes.

  2. Hello, they are pretty flowers. Love the photos. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!


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