Leucojum vernum

LecojumMy favorite early bulb, the beautiful "spring snowflake" begins blooming even before the first snowdrops. Bell shaped pure white flowers with petals tipped green or yellow dangle above plants of similar size and stature to Galanthus.

 

We have had to wait a number of years for enough bulbs to allow cataloging, and have worked hard at perfecting post-harvest storage techniques that assure your bulbs of this difficult to acquire plant will arrive healthy and ready to grow in your gardens. The reason Leucojum vernum is very rarely offered is because it cannot be dug and cured for later shipment like most bulbs. Even though some general suppliers of Dutch grown bulbs still dare list them, experience has taught me more than once that any that do get sent will arrive rotten (although the taller and June blooming summer snowflake Leucojum aestivum does tolerate the traditional treatment, which is why it is so frequently seen in gardens). After we harvest, the bulbs are kept layered between sheets of moist leaves, and are then packed in plastic bags filled with slightly moistened peat moss the day of shipment. They should be replanted immediately upon arrival, preferably in a shaded spot in the garden or in short grass where the soil drains yet retains some moisture for most of the year.

 

Where happy, they will naturalize by self-sown seed (actually ants carry it off and disperse it). I used to think that we had stocks of both var. vernum (green-tipped) and var. carpathicum (yellow-tipped), but when I moved some of our var. vernum from our garden at home to the fields at Holiday Brook Farm, they all bloomed with yellow tips the next spring. Is it a soil PH thing? I'm investigating and will be sure to let you know!

 

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