So we said that last week’s issue would be it for a short while….but today’s snow fall inspired one more botanical treasure to share: Snow Drops! Because, in the words of Susan, “Once the snow is gone, it won’t be as much fun to read about them!”. 🙂
By: Susan Sprout
A spring surprise! Look for Snow Drops popping up along side trees and under bushes now. These lovely members of the Amaryllis Family have the scientific name Galanthus nivalis which means “milk flower of the snow”.
Their especially hardened leaf tips help them break through snow and frozen ground looking like little green swords held high marching toward the sun.
I began photographing them as soon as I found them and continued until they bloomed. What fun going out everyday to check on their progress!
These plants grow from three to six inches tall and have a single white flower on each stalk that droops downward. When fully opened, you can see small green stripes inside on the inner flower parts. They are found growing all over Europe. In some places, they are endangered due to over-collecting.
The plants are considered poisonous to animals and people, but do contain galanthamine, used as a treatment to slow dementia in Alzheimer patients.
Find out what’s underfoot with NPC member and environmental educator, Susan Sprout! Catch up on past issues of Underfoot: Introduction & Bloodroot, Trout Lily & Coltsfoot, Blue Cohosh & Dutchman’s Breeches, Ground Ivy & Forget-Me-Nots, Goldthread & Wild Ginger, Common Mullein & Sweet Woodruff, Aniseroot & Butterfly Weed, Myself , Jewelweed & Soapwort, American Pennyroyal & Great Lobelia, Boneset & Common Ragweed, Pokeweed & Blue Chicory, Prickly Cucumber & Wintergreen, Beech Drops & Partridge Berry, Pipsissewa & Nostoc, Witch Hazel, Plantsgiving, Black Jetbead & Decorating with Winterberry, Wild Bergamot & Bald Cypress Tree, Galls & Bittersweet, American Beech & Bagworm, Seedpods & American Chestnut, Northern Bayberry & Sweet Fern, Broom-sedge & Common Motherswort.