Galanthus ikariae
Common Name: snowdrop 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: Aegean Islands, Turkey, Caucasus
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: February to March
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, humusy soils in part shade. Grows particularly well under deciduous trees where exposure to the sun is full in early spring but gradually changes to part shade as the trees leaf out. Snowdrops prefer cool climates, and are somewhat short lived when grown south of USDA Zone 7. Plant bulbs 3” deep and space 3-4” apart in fall. In optimum growing conditions, snowdrops naturalize well by both self-seeding and bulb offsets. If left alone, foliage disappears by late spring to early summer as bulbs go dormant. Allow foliage to yellow before removing it from garden areas.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Galanthus ikariae, commonly called snowdrop, is a bulbous perennial in the Amaryllis family. It blooms in February-March in the St. Louis area, often poking flower heads up through snow cover. It is native to several Greek islands (Ikaria, Andros, Naxos and Skyros) located in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey. The common name refers to the supposed resemblance of the flowers to drops of snow. Each bulb produces two narrow, linear, basal, green leaves (to 5-6" long and to 1" wide) and a leafless flower scape (to 6” tall) which is topped with a single, nodding, milky white, waxy, bell-shaped flower (to 1 3/4” across). Each flower has green markings on the inner segments from the sinus to the base. Leaves will elongate after bloom.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Galanthus latifolius.

Genus name comes from the Greek words gala meaning milk and anthos meaning flower in reference to the color of the flowers.

Specific epithet is in reference to the Island of Ikaria where this plant was first observed growing.


No serious insect or disease problems. Any plant attacked by Botrytis galanthina should be promptly removed from the landscape.


Best massed in sweeping drifts in areas where they can naturalize, such as open woodland areas, woodland margins or in lawns under large deciduous trees. Also effective in groupings in rock gardens, border fronts, in front of flowering shrubs or along walks or paths. Mix with other early flowering bulbs such as Eranthis (winter aconite).