Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'
Common Name: summer snowflake 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Easily grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Adapts to clay soils. Plants need consistent moisture during the spring period of growth and bloom. After dormancy in summer, they will tolerate drier soils, but will appreciate a summer mulch which helps keep soils moist and cool. Plant bulbs 3-4” deep and 4-6” apart in fall. Bulbs are best left undisturbed once set in the ground. Plants will naturalize well by bulb offsets.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Leucojum aestivum, commonly called summer snowflake, blooms in mid-spring (late April), not in summer. It blooms several weeks after spring snowflake (Leucojum vernum) and usually goes dormant by summer. Dark grassy green leaves to 12” long and 1” wide form an upright, vase-shaped clump of foliage. Typically 2-5 (less frequently to 8) white, nodding, bell-shaped flowers appear at the top of naked hollow flower scapes (to 12-15” tall) in spring. Each flower has three similar looking sepals and petals (tepals) that are spotted at the tip with green.

Genus name comes from the Greek name for various scented white-flowered plants.

Specific epithet means flowering, ripening or developing in summer.

'Gravetye Giant' is a robust, larger-flowered version of the species. Cultivar name honors Gravetye Manor, the Sussex home of horticulturist and garden writer William Robinson (1838-1935) who introduced this plant.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Borders, rock gardens. Under trees or shrubs. Pond or stream margins. Best planted in groups of at least 15 bulbs. Can put on a spectacular flowering display when naturalized in large drifts.