With Pod & Pip's love of all things floral and the countryside it's lovely to see the return of these tiny flowers. Snowdrops are a very welcome sign that spring is on its way. Carpets of the perfectly white tiny little flower appear in woodland, gardens and along hedgerows bringing hope that warmer days are just around the corner. But what do we know about these little fellas? Read on and we have some interesting and fun facts about them!
1. The scientific name for snowdrop is Gallanthus which literally means ‘milk flower’.
2. Snow drops aren’t named after anything related to snow but earrings! In the 15th, 16th and 17th century, ladies often wore white drop shaped earrings (I always think of the book cover for The Girl with the Pearl Earring)!
3. Other common names for snowdrops over the centuries have been Fair Maids of February, White ladies, Candlemas Bells, Flower of Hope and Death’s Flowers, quite a mixture!
4. Some of the myths and legends relate to the common names, for example it was thought unlucky to bring snowdrops into the house or even it would bring a death in the family hence the name ‘Death Flower’.
5. Snowdrops including the bulbs are poisonous to humans.
6. They are however used in medicine. Galamantine is extracted from snowdrops and used in Alzheimer’s drugs, helping to slow down the disease.
7. During WWII the US Military police were nicknamed ‘snowdrops’ by the British as they had green uniforms and a white hat.
8. Snowdrops can be exchanged for hundreds if not thousands of pounds in some cases. ‘Galanthopiles’ collect rare or mutant varieties of snowdrops.
9. They are not native to Britain and are more than 2500 varieties of snowdrop. However many varieties are endangered and it is illegal to collect bulbs from the wild and bulb trading is carefully regulated.
10. In the language of flowers, the snowdrop is synonymous with ‘hope’ seen to be heralding in the new year.
So if you love your flowers and countryside and would like to enjoy the signs that spring is on its way, here are a couple of websites listing some of the best snowdrop gardens and places to visit to see snowdrops.