Each January, I’m on the lookout for the first blooms of the New Year.
I start looking more closely at the pure white helicopter blades with their protected cockpit. Analyzing means kneeling down in the wet grass, camera in hand.
Low & behold, one clump of blooms has double green markings on each of the outer petals. (The inner trumpet is quite green, too.)
Hello, Galanthus elwesii 🙂
Farther along the path is another clump – – this one with wee green tips on the outer petals.
Another G. elwesii variety.
And then, there’s a patch with the standard white outer petals – – but there are 6 instead of the usual 3.
I’m pretty sure these are called Galanthus elwessi poculiformis.
My favourite way to ID plants is via plant labels – which are great as long as they don’t go missing – – crows like to claim them as booty.
This label clearly states that this particular snowdrop is Galanthus St. Anne’s. From a distance, it appears a typical snowdrop, with white outer petals & a small upside-down heart on the inner trumpet…
But here’s the reason I don’t mind getting dirty from kneeling on the grass:
Check out the inner petals!
This is how botanists are born, & become addicted to looking at plants soooooo closely.
Peaking inside some more blooms, I find another delicate flower with an even more ruffled trumpet. For such a tiny flower, this snowdrop has a ridiculously large name: Galanthus nivalis bagpuize virginia.
How’s that for a mouthful?
Protected from the others, is a pot of snowdrops with yellow markings. This is the first one I’ve noticed with a yellow ovary above the dangling flower. It’s Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’.
Quite a treasure.
In the collection, I spied a clump of snowdrops that were already going to seed! Although most snowdrops in Victoria bloom through the winter months, some snowdrops start crazy early in the fall. Carol’s G. elwesii ‘Barnes’ begins blooming in November!
(It’s reported that G. reginae-olgae is a September bloomer & G. elwesii ‘Potter’s Prelude’ blooms through Halloween.)
The final mystery of my tour is a variety with green stripes on the outer petals. The label was there but washed out.
Only a galanthophile can be sure. 🙂