Gardens Gems

Summer Snowflakes

Leucojum aestivum  ‘Gravetye Giant’

Well, this is awkward.  Why does a winter blooming plant get the name summer snowflake? Thanks to Alabama’s mild climate these “summer” snowflakes like to bloom in late winter in our neck of the woods. In the amaryllis family, this European selection of a Eurasian native is easy to grow in improved soil with fair drainage. The chillier climes of Europe must delay the dainty white, bell-shaped blooms. One of those flowers that herald the approach of spring in Alabama, this pass along plant is rarely seen in the nursery trade. Plant Leucojum bulbs in sun or part shade for best flowering. The plants prefer amended garden soil and display best in mass or drifts.  The bulbs go dormant by summer and are able to take drought, but appreciate regular moisture especially in the growing season. The bulbs are easily transplanted when dormant or just emerging. Plant just a few inches deep and about 6” apart. You will love this later winter jewel when those flowers burst forth typically in February in our area.