Snowdrop Facts

Snowdrop Facts
Snowdrop is herbaceous plant that belongs to the family Amaryllidaceae. There are 20 different species of snowdrops that originate from Europe and Asia Minor. Snowdrops grow in the forests, grasslands, near the streams and roads. They can be often seen in gardens and parks. Snowdrops prefer well-drained, fertile soil and habitats that provide full or partial sunlight. Snowflakes are closely related with snowdrops. These two types of plants have similar flowers but they bloom at different seasons (snowflakes appear later in spring or even during the summer). Snowdrops are threatened because of the uncontrolled collecting of plants from the wild. Some species of snowdrops are listed as vulnerable or even endangered.
Interesting Snowdrop Facts:
Snowdrop is small plant that can reach 2.7 to 12 inches in height.
Snowdrop develops two to three narrow, dark green leaves from the bulb. Leaves are usually 6 inches long and have enforced tips which ensure successful growth through the snow.
Single flower appears on the top of a flowering stalk. Flower hangs loosely and it has bell-like shape. Perianth consists of 6 tepals. 3 outer are larger and convex in shape. 3 inner are two times shorter and have small green notch at the top. Snowdrops have sweet, pleasant odor.
Snowdrops are pollinated by bees during the February and March.
Cross-pollination of snowdrops is rare due to low activity of insects during the cold winter period. As a result, snowdrops rarely produce seeds and most plants are sterile.
Miniature, white seeds produce substances which attract ants. These insects collect and transfer seed via underground tunnels.
Most types of snowdrops propagate via division of the underground bulb.
Scientific name for the snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis. Name is coined from the Greek words "gala", which means milk, and "anthos" which means flower. Second part of the name, "nivalis", originates from Latin language and it means snow.
Group of passionate collectors of snowdrops are also known as galanthophiles.
Galanthamine is a substance isolated from snowdrops that can be used to improve sleep.
Galantamine can be also used in treatment of Alzheimer's disease. It can be purchased under the brand name Reminyl. According to the latest scientific studies, galanthamine improves working of certain receptors in the brain.
Snowdrops announce arrival of spring. They are one of the first plants that appear while the ground is still covered with snow.
Snowdrops are symbol of consolation and hope, purity and cleansing.
20th species of snowdrops was identified for the first time during the 2012. This species is rare and it can be found only on the few locations in Georgia and Russia. Unfortunately, one of its natural habitats has been destroyed during preparation for the Olympic Games in Sochi.
Snowdrop is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than two years in the wild.

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