Galanthus Species, Common Snowdrop, February Fair Maid, Snowdrops

Galanthus nivalis

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Galanthus (guh-LAN-thus) (Info)
Species: nivalis (niv-VAL-us) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:



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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

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

By scoring the base of the bulb to promote new bulblets

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Jacksons Gap, Alabama

San Jose, California

Athens, Georgia

Mapleton, Illinois

Washington, Illinois

New Carlisle, Indiana

Warren, Indiana

Ewing, Kentucky

Hebron, Kentucky

Lisbon, Maine

Elkton, Maryland

Laurel, Maryland

Milton, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sunapee, New Hampshire

Clay, New York

Rochester, New York

Schenectady, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Malvern, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Anderson, South Carolina

Arlington, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This modest plant often announces the start of a new season for me--sometimes as early as Valentine's Day, though more often the first week of March (Boston Z6a). It's best planted in the largest masses possible, as it takes a lot of them to make an impression in the landscape.

It does best in deciduous shade where the soil won't dry out completely in summer. It does well in lawns if the first mowing is delayed till the foliage dies down.

I've seen it doing well on the north side of a wall or house where it only gets north light. The only problem with this is that that's where the snow lies the deepest and longest, so that's where bloom is generally delayed.


On Dec 26, 2011, Carla_DAnna from Laurel, MD,
United States (Zone 7a) wrote:

Can be divided in spring while foliage is still green and will continue to grow in that same year. This is helpful in locating new areas to fill in as the green leaves show the location of the other snowdrops.


On Jan 22, 2010, andrizzle from Clay, NY wrote:

First to come up in the spring...a nice pick-me-up after over 100" of snowfall each winter. I use them to signal when it is time to start spring cleaning in the garden. They seem to love our swampy area and clay soil. Leaves die back when the temperatures remain warm at night. Good companion to bugleweed and trillium.


On May 28, 2008, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

Blooms in March in my garden. This self-seeded itself, as I never planted it. Very delicate little flower. Pretty in large patches.


On Mar 9, 2006, SW_gardener from (Zone 6a) wrote:

Great plant. Perks you up in the spring when you see it's flowers. Don't make the same mistake I did the first time I planted them: I planted them where a large snowbank always that kind of defeated the purpose of having them since they wouldn't come up till later. Plant in a sunny spot.


On Oct 25, 2004, tcfromky from Mercer, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Its foliage is linear, a narrow strap-like form similar to a mini trumpet daffodil. The green markings on the outside of the petal (the inner three segments of the perianth) are found only on the tips. They are however variable, and can be yellow or absent in some forms.


On Apr 14, 2004, jesup from Malvern, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

In SE Pennsylvania, they naturalize well; they're scattered through the woods around and below our house now. As you'd expect, they come up and bloom very early, sometimes before the final snows of the season, and generally shortly before the earliest crocuses. The make bunches as the bulbs divide, and have foliage that's similar to small daffodils (but even smaller). There are a few giant and "double" variants available.


On Mar 19, 2003, CanadaGoose from Oakville, ON (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a very early flowering bulb, usually the first to show. In a mild winter may be flowering in late February in Southern Ontario (in a sheltered sunny spot).


On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Bulbs spread, forming dense sections of flowers and foliage which die back in early summer. May rot in winter-wet Southern areas