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Leucojum

While visiting an old homestead we discovered some flowers that grew from bulbs and have tiny, white, bell-shaped flowers with green tips. They have come back for the last two springs. Do you have any idea what they may be called? They grow just like a narcissus. I would appreciate your help.

The flower you have seen is a leucojum or summer snowflake. I love the dainty blooms of this plant. Looking at the perfect green dots painted on each white petal reminds me of how truly intricate nature is.

This plant is often confused with galanthus or snowdrops. But you can distinguish the two by the little green dot. Also the petals of leucojum are an even length while galanthus has three long petals and three short petals.

Leucojum bloom between April and May, so they need to be planted in the fall along with other spring flowering bulbs such as daffodils and tulips. Plant these bulbs in partial shade about 4 inches apart. Snowflakes like consistent moisture and will even tolerate soggy soils.

One of my favorite varieties of leucojum is ‘Gravetye Giant’. It has larger blooms and long sturdy stem, making it perfect for cutting to bring indoors.