Chionodoxa 'Pink Giant'
Common Name: glory of the snow
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plant bulbs 3” deep and 2” 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Chionodoxa is a genus of six bulbous perennials (generally less than 9” tall) which are native to mountainsides and open forested areas in Turkey, Crete and Cypress. Plants in this genus are among the first to bloom in the spring, often poking their flowering scapes up through melting snows, hence the general common name of glory-of-the-snow.

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.

‘Pink Giant’ is recognized by many experts as a hybrid (probably a cross of C. luciliae and C. forbesii). Each bulb produces 2-3 narrow basal leaves and an upright flower stalk (to 8” tall) which is topped in March-April by a loose raceme of 2-3 star-like, upward facing, six-petaled, soft dull pink flowers with white centers. Some authorities list 'Pink Giant' as a cultivar of either C. luciliae or C. forbesii.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Nematodes are an infrequent but potentially serious problem in some areas.

Garden Uses

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.