The MGS Forum

Plants for mediterranean gardens => Bulbs (including other geophytes with corms, tubers, rhizomes etc) => Topic started by: Joanna Savage on February 17, 2014, 09:44:44 AM

Title: Snowdrops
Post by: Joanna Savage on February 17, 2014, 09:44:44 AM
Our principal road to town is closed for landslide repairs. On the Diversion road I saw this drift of snowdrops. I am afraid the reduction in photo size makes it difficult to see detail of the flowers.

Might they be endemic to this area? There are several drifts scattered around the valley, all well separated. As well there is no real history of growing ornamentals in gardens around here until recently, so perhaps they are.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fleur Pavlidis on February 17, 2014, 10:27:42 AM
Strangely Blamey's Mediterranean Wild Flowers doesn't mention snowdrops in Italy at all, but perhaps you're in the mountains? Freda Cox has just published a new book A Gardener's Guide to Snowdrops which I believe has a chapter on native habitats. I'll consult it when I next visit Sparoza where there's a copy unless  you get an earlier answer.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on February 17, 2014, 10:57:58 AM
Kew's 2010 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families does show Galanthus nivalis, the common snowdrop, as being native to Italy (and Freda Cox's splendid book says it's native right across western, central and southern Europe from the Pyrenees to the Ukraine.
G. reginae-olgae also occurs in Italy. The simplest way of telling it from nivalis is that its leaves show only scarcely if at all while it's flowering, whereas the common snowdrop's leaves are much more developed already then - as in your photo, Joanna. Most forms of it also flower much earlier than the common snowdrop, some in autumn.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Joanna Savage on February 18, 2014, 06:59:07 AM
Thanks to Alisdair and Fleur for help. These snowdrops are very particular about their location. It must be damp dappled shade, almost always on a slope, especially a bank at the side of the road which is mown once a year They occur at about 250-300  m. alt.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Umbrian on February 18, 2014, 07:33:01 AM
Lucky you Joanna I have never found any Snowdops in our area of Umbria but we do get that other wonderful early flowererAconites although in recent years they seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate. I remember taking a walk through the woods above us in our early days here and seeing an autumn ploughed field covered with them. I suppose the increasing use of herbicides and pesticides by the local farmers has a lot to do with their demise.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on February 18, 2014, 10:13:25 AM
I see you have learned how to use the italics.
I am about to study the instructions

Al this talk about snowdrops is making me quite envious, I haven't seen one for years
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Umbrian on February 18, 2014, 02:04:35 PM
Gosh - what have I done now? Life is never dull with all this new technology to try to absorb :)
Good luck Hilary with your attempts at italics.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Trevor Australis on February 27, 2014, 11:00:58 PM
Hilary, take the plunge and buy a few snowies, or beg/ borrow some of the local sp if you can. I find they are generally pretty good doers in our garden and seed about quite well. In our sun-baked conditions I plant snowdrops where they get dappled shade in summer and open sunlight in winter. The bulbs do not seem to mind being among the roots of deciduous trees and shrubs tho' a dusting of fertiliser every year helps them grow well. I find the doubles can struggle to perform well, and the yellow kinds are decidedly miffy. They are not strong growers anyway so I don't bother with them. But the 'ordinary' sp are wonderful here in Winter. Of course, the flowering season, is rushed in comparison to the UK and Europe where prolonged cold spells retard flowering. Here it just doesn't get that cold so early, mid- and late season forms make a continuous show for about 6 weeks. And that is good enough for me.

In our 'no dig' garden the bulbs set plenty of seed which germinates freely in the autumn following flowering. The first good rains see the baby leaves sprout where the seed pods have drooped to the soil and shed their seeds. Ours are mixed with white Cyclamen hederifolium which also self-sow. They look great together and are so reliable and easy.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on March 04, 2014, 06:38:50 AM
Trevor,
 Many thanks for all the hints on snowdrop growing. I will see if anyone coming over from the UK this year can bring me some bulbs. I have never seen them for sale in the local shops. After years of trying , not very successfully, to  grow daffodils, crocus and Dutch Iris in pots I decided freesia were the only thing for our balcony. They come up year after year, a few are in bloom now.

I too was shocked to read about the devastation in your garden and am glad you are managing to tackle the damage to your plants so positively
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on March 04, 2014, 08:41:03 AM
Hilary, if you are getting someone to bring out bulbs, the one you might find easiest on your balcony is Galanthus elwesii, which seems to stand up to fierce summer heat better than the usual G. nivalis
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on March 04, 2014, 09:42:00 AM
Many thanks. I will write the name on a list
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Trevor Australis on March 05, 2014, 01:12:58 AM
Alisdair is right, Galanthus elwesii is very hardy and reliable. It has several hybrids and various selected forms which are also excellent. Just keep the pots as cool as you can, especially during the dormant season. Move them out of direct sunshine if it strikes and heats up the pots otherwise there's a risk the bulbs will cook, or abort the formative flower bds that have formed deep in the heart of the bulb. Don't forget to feed them. I use tomato fertiliser but anything with a low Nitrogen ratio and higher Phosphorus and Potassium in comparison. It would be interesting to observe if pot grown snowies will set seed.

tn
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on March 05, 2014, 03:33:42 PM
I have had G. reginae-olgae set fertile seed (one enormous pod!) in a pot.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Trevor Australis on March 05, 2014, 10:42:56 PM
I forgot to add that one of our MGS members, Freda Cox, has recently published a book on snowdrops which is getting enthusiastic reviews in English language magazines. I like it too, even tho' I will never be able to obtain more than a handful of the hundreds of hybrids she has illustrated with her own water-colour flower portraits.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on May 14, 2014, 02:51:18 PM
I was sent this photo on Sunday of a snowdrop growing on the east side of Taygetus.
The photo was taken in October 2012.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 05, 2014, 09:07:15 AM
Galanthus "Green Outer Tips" which maybe 'Comet'
Galanthus elwesii at the base of a Chinese Elm
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on August 05, 2014, 11:01:41 AM
Just what i needed after shopping in the heat
Photos on the Forum  of snowdrops and daffodils.
They are all lovely
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 05, 2014, 12:46:13 PM
Hi Hilary,
That's the joy of have both hemispheres involved in the Forum :)
We're heading into spring...soon! When we are suffering through the summer heat we can see your cool winter flowers here ;D
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on April 20, 2015, 07:15:06 AM
Snowdrop update.
Well a friend of mine did bring me a couple of bags  of Snowdrop bulbs last autumn with instructions to share them with two friends.
The Galanthos nivalisproduced lots of healthy looking leaves but no flowers.
The Galanthos elwesii produced one flower of which I was inordinately proud.
Here it is starring in a photo.
One of my friends had four or five flowers, her pot was in her garden and probably got more sun than mine did.
Now what shall I do? Wait till the leaves dry out and put the pots under a table or down in the cellar?
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on May 14, 2015, 04:15:33 PM
I'd keep both pots coolish (certainly shade, maybe cellar) when they dry out, Hilary. And it wouldn't do the G. nivalis any harm to give it a very slight damping every month or two.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Hilary on May 14, 2015, 04:27:06 PM
Thanks for the advice.
They are at the drying out stage
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on June 05, 2015, 09:00:32 AM
The first snowdrop in our garden is actually one of the autumn species, Galanthus peshmeni from Turkey.
I can't say that it thrives in our garden but it survives and produces an occasional bloom.
The first pic was taken a few days ago and the second was taken yesterday with a coin to indicate its diminuitive size,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Galanthus peshmenii
Post by: Alisdair on June 05, 2015, 05:07:59 PM
I had no idea it was so absolutely tiny, Fermi: quite remarkable!
Title: Re: Galanthus 2015
Post by: Fermi on July 19, 2015, 01:59:24 PM
I had no idea it was so absolutely tiny, Fermi: quite remarkable!
Sorry for not replying sooner, Alisdair,
As I said, it isn't exactly thriving in our garden! I grew it from seed from Rannweig Wallis in Wales, after seeing her Farrer Medal winning potful at an Alpine Garden Society Show in the UK in 1997, and they weren't as diminutive!
Here is a clump of the Greatorex double snowdrop, Galanthus 'Lady Beatrix Stanley' in flower in our garden this afternoon,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on July 20, 2015, 09:36:56 AM
Big coincidence, Fermi! Yesterday I tipped out a pot of 'Lady Beatrix Stanley' given to me seven years ago as a single bulb - now multiplied to 12.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on July 28, 2015, 08:34:13 AM
Hi Alisdair,
yes, Lady Bea is a "good doer"! It's the only one of the doubles that actually increases for us in this garden.
Here are a few more:
Galanthus elwesii in the rock garden, this one has seeded about!
Galanthus plicatus
A late form of Galanthus elwesii only just coming into flower now,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on July 30, 2015, 07:18:58 AM
Unsurprisingly, Galanthus elwesii seems to be one of the most successful in mediterranean gardens
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 09, 2015, 01:55:00 PM
Unsurprisingly, Galanthus elwesii seems to be one of the most successful in mediterranean gardens
Yes, Alisdair, and I've been informed that the "plicatus" in my previous post is merely a form of G. elwesii with folded foliage or maybe a hybrid between the two! :-[
Here's another "clump" of Galanthus elwesii in another part of the garden which does get some summer watering and despite "the face" they seem to be happy!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on August 10, 2015, 01:23:06 PM
Lovely "face", worth extracting as an emoticon!
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 14, 2015, 10:23:06 AM
 ;D ;D ;D
You're welcome to try, Alisdair!
Here's the latest Galanthus to flower - I'm unsure of the name except to say it is not G. elwesii! It might be G. 'S.Arnott' (AKA 'Sam Arnott's Seedling' but NOT "Sam Arnott" :-X)
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops 2016
Post by: Fermi on July 03, 2016, 09:43:48 AM
Galanthus elwesii is flowering again in our rock garden,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Alisdair on July 04, 2016, 06:33:10 AM
Perhaps the most truly Mediterranean of all the snowdrops :)
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on July 04, 2016, 07:13:32 AM
Yes, Alisdair,
for which I'm most grateful!
We struggle with G. nivalis here but G. elwesii improves and multiplies a little each year,
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on July 10, 2016, 01:50:09 PM
Some more snowdrops out now:

1) What I received as Galanthus plicatus but is most likely an Galanthus elwesii hybrid;
2) a different one also received as Galanthus plicatus and not the same as the first one, but is it true to name?
3) a group of G. elwesii seedlings;
4) one of those seedlings with green marks on the outer petals;

cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on July 29, 2016, 02:52:41 PM
This little snowdrop was found this morning - it's probably the common Galanthus nivalis but in our garden it is a rarity!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on May 11, 2020, 11:43:42 AM
Galanthus peshmenii is doing well, compared to the first pic I posted 5 years ago!
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Umbrian on May 12, 2020, 06:37:10 AM
Strange but interesting to be reminded you are gardening in a different season Fermi alhtough it hardly seems a minute ago that I was  eagerly awaiting the first Snowdrops.....
Now of course the garden is burgeoning with new things coming into bloom every day.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 02, 2020, 04:36:41 PM
The winter snowdrops are in bloom in our garden. We don't get masses of them but there are a few which seem at home here in Central Victoria.
Green Outer tips
Galanthus rizehensis
A sinister snowdrop!
Galanthus elwesii large green inner
Galanthus maybe 'Magnet'
The double Galanthus 'Lady Beatrix Stanley'
cheers
fermi
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: John J on August 02, 2020, 06:41:22 PM
I hope the moderators will forgive my going off subject a little. Fermi, I see you list your occupation as a physio and your location as Victoria. With the latest news from that area regarding the virus I hope that you are not in 'the front line' as it were and that you are keeping safe.
Title: Re: Snowdrops
Post by: Fermi on August 04, 2020, 10:15:13 AM
Hi John,
Thanks for your concern.
I hadn't been working and was about to start applying for jobs when the pandemic hit!
I'm in a high risk group so am a bit unsure about returning to work...more time for gardening, I guess!
cheers
fermi