Galanthus nivalis 'Atkinsii'

Atkin's Snowdrops

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Atkinsii snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis 'Atkinsii') is a very showy, large-flowered snowdrop, among the first bulbs to bloom in early spring. The name was given to the genus by Carl Linnaeus in 1735. Native to large areas of Europe, from Spain to the Ukraine, the name is derived from the Greek gala (milk) and anthos (flower). The epithet "nivalis" means "of the snow," referring either to the snow-like flower or the plant's early flowering. With especially hardened tips to push through the late-spring snow, Galanthus nivalis was described at the 1891 meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society as "second to none in size, form, quality, and freedom of growth." The 'Atkinsii' cultivar is a vigorous, tall variety that grows to 9 inches.

This dwarf, bulbous perennial has linear or strap-shaped green to gray-green, glaucous leaves (with a powdery surface, like that on grapes). At the top of its erect, leafless flowering stalk is a solitary, pendulous, bell-shaped flower with three pear-shaped, white outer segments and three shorter inner ones, marked with a prominent green heart-shaped mark at the tips. The whitish seeds have small, fleshy tails containing substances attractive to ants, which distribute the seeds. Best planted in partial shade in moist, hummus-rich soil, snowdrops can be naturalized in grass under trees, where they look spectacular mixed with crocuses. The leaves die back a few weeks after the flowers have faded.

Plant Shape
Full Sun, Partial Shade
Bloom Time
January - February, March - April
Bloom Color
White, Green
Landscape Use
Bedding or Border, Understory
Wildlife Interest
Attracts Butterflies, Resistant To Deer
Plant Type
Hardiness Zone
3 - 7