Common Name: glory of the snow
Native Range: Western Turkey
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Lilac blue with white center
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut
Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Plant bulbs 3” deep and 2-3” apart in fall. Plants naturalize easily by bulb offsets and self-seeding to form a spreading carpet of early spring bloom. Foliage begins to fade shortly after bloom and generally disappears by late spring as plants go into dormancy until the following spring.
Chionodoxa luciliae, commonly called glory-of-the-snow, is a bulbous perennial that is native to mountainsides in western Turkey. It is among the first bulbs to bloom in the spring, often poking its flowering stalks up through melting snows, hence its common name of glory-of-the-snow. In the St. Louis area plants typically bloom from mid-March to mid-April. Each bulb produces 2-3 narrow, basal leaves and an upright flower stalk (to 6” tall) which is topped in very early spring by a loose raceme of 2-3 star-like, upward facing, six-petaled, lilac blue to soft violet blue flowers with small white centers.
Chionodoxa luciliae is very similar in appearance to Chionodoxa forbesii (native to southwestern Turkey). The primary differences are that C. luciliae has slightly larger flowers with less pointed tepals on shorter stems rising to as much as 6” tall with fewer flowers per stem.
Plants in the genus Chionodoxa are very similar to plants in the genus Scilla, the main differences being in tepal arrangement. Some experts have merged Chionodoxa into the genus Scilla under the belief that the differences are not significant enough to warrant separate genus status.
Genus name comes from the Greek words chion meaning snow and doxa meaning glory for its very early flowering when snow is still on the ground.
Specific epithet honors Lucile Boissier, wife of Swiss botanist Pierre Edmond Boissier (1810-1885).
No serious insect or disease problems. Nematodes are an infrequent but potentially serious problem in some areas.
Provides late winter to early spring color to the garden. Best when massed and naturalized in rock gardens, sunny woodland areas, slopes or in lawns under large deciduous trees. Mixes well with other early spring bulbs such as daffodils, species tulips and snowdrops.