Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spring Snowflake, St. Agnes' Flower
Leucojum vernum

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Leucojum (LOO-koh-jum) (Info)
Species: vernum (VER-num) (Info)

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)
USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 8 photos.
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6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive nativetex On Mar 7, 2014, nativetex from Houston, TX wrote:

When I first moved into my house in Houston, Texas, a friend of my father's who lived in Galveston gave me some of his snowflake bulbs. They have been blooming in my back yard beds every February since then for 36 years. They have had no diseases, and no pests have bothered them. They have been moved and propagated several times. I happily look forward to seeing them every year.

Positive coriaceous On Jan 20, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

A reliable bulb valued for its late winter/early spring flowers---white bells tipped in green hanging gracefully from the tops of the scapes.

The spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) is commonly and easily confused with the misleadingly named summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). The first is rarely found in North American gardens (though it's been commonly grown in British gardens since the late 1600's). The second is a common heritage and pass along plant widely naturalized throughout the Southeast. Neither blooms in summer.

If it has three or more flowers on a stem, it's a summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum).

Spring snowflakes have one flower per stem (or in some uncommon varieties, two), and their foliage generally gets no more than 6-8" tall. Summer snowflakes can have 1-7 flowers per stem (usually 3-6 if not overcrowded), and get 12-24" tall.

The confusion between these two species may not matter much in the deep South, where both may bloom from mid-December into March. But in Zone 6, where winter-blooming plants are few, spring snowflakes begin blooming with or just after the common snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) in March before the daffodils begin, when our eyes are starving to see something blooming in the landscape, and we have few options. Here, summer snowflakes (despite their name) start a month later, in daffodil season, when many more plants have come into bloom.

The foliage of both species dies down untidily, like that of daffodils, in June here in Massachusetts Z5-6.

Both tolerate wet soils and poor drainage better than most spring bulbs, and neither does well with the dry summer baking that most bulbs love. They're good choices for the upper banks of streams and ponds, and also do well under ordinary garden conditions if not too dry in summer. Louise Beebe Wilder writes that spring snowflakes are slower to increase and less inclined to naturalize than summer snowflakes.

Both kinds of snowflake are easily moved "in the green" like snowdrops, as long as they're replanted immediately. Summer snowflakes are easily obtained in the fall from bulb vendors, though they may spend the next season recovering from the ordeal. Spring snowflakes do not tolerate the dry storage that the bulb vendors put them through, and---despite what Armitage writes---bulbs purchased in the fall generally turn out to be dead or prove to be summer snowflakes. The best way to ship them without killing them is to dig them as the foliage dies down in the spring and pack them moist with something like perlite or vermiculite or shredded paper that will stay damp but not wet, and to make sure they're planted immediately on receipt.

Positive oddball62983 On Feb 12, 2009, oddball62983 from Logansport, LA wrote:

according to "The Complete Book of Bulbs" this plant is only hardy to zone 7 , but i found my mystery flowers here in zone 8 in Louisiana , planted them last year, and here they are blooming prettily by my porch steps!!! i was sure i could remember my mother growing them when i was small but could never find any growing in this area. Needless to say im thrilled to have found this!!!

Positive omegabook On Mar 15, 2007, omegabook from La Mesa, CA wrote:

According to the Sunset Western Garden Book, vernum is "generally unsucessful where temperatures remain above 20 degrees F/-7 degrees C." This makes it easy to confuse with Leucojum aestivum, which in mild winter areas, plants can bloom during the period from late fall through winter..."

Positive Ms_Carolina On Jul 23, 2006, Ms_Carolina from Lexington, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This plant is one of the earliest blooming plants under a very old pecan tree in our front yard. It's dainty and cheerful! I plan to add a few near our pond. A previous owner planted it and it's lovely in it's contrast to the pine needle mulch.

Positive zsnp On Mar 8, 2006, zsnp from Pensacola, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

We traveled through Fairhope and Foley in Alabama in Jan. 2006. These two cities were decorated with lots of flowers. We saw thousands and thousands of Spring Snowflakes blooming along the streets. Beautiful cities!!!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Calistoga, California
Garberville, California
Stockton, California
Niceville, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Logansport, Louisiana
Pollock, Louisiana
Lexington, North Carolina
Lakewood, Ohio
Medina, Ohio
Springboro, Pennsylvania
Summerville, South Carolina
Dallas, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Huntsville, Texas
Rusk, Texas

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