The pretty white, drooping, bell shaped flowers of Leucojum are similar to that of the snowdrop. In fact, the spring flowering species L. vernum is so similar it is often mistake as so. The main difference is in the shape of the flowers and petals, which are more rounded and usually tipped with green.

Family: Amaryllidoideae (amaryllis)
Botanical Name: Leucojum
Common Names: Snowflake

Foliage: Deciduous, glossy green, narrow strap-shaped leaves.

Flowers: Drooping, six petaled, white bell-like flowers.

Flowering Period: Early spring, summer or autumn, depending on variety.

Soil: L. autumnale needs a well-drained soil. Other varieties need moist conditions. Any good garden soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Any pH.

: Full sun or partial shade. Can be grown in any aspect.

Habit: Tufted.

Type: Bulbous perennial.

Origin: Western Europe, Morocco and Algeria.

Hardiness: Fully hardy in most regions of the UK.

Planting and Growing Leucojum

Plant dormant bulbs of L. autumnale in late summer. Plant other varieties in early autumn. Plant around 4in (10cm) deep, in any moderately fertile, humus-rich soil.

L. autumnale needs sunny, sheltered position. Others varieties grow best in partial shade.

Taking Care of Leucojum

They are best left undisturbed to naturalise. Only lift and divide once a group becomes overcrowded, producing too many leaves and fewer flowers.

Pruning Leucojum

No pruning required.

Pests and Diseases

Can be affected by slugs and narcissus bulb fly.

Propagating Leucojum

Separate mature clumps as the leaves die down or remove offsets when dormant.

Sow seeds when ripe. Seedlings can take several years to reach flowering size

Popular Varieties of Leucojum

Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake) has white, green-tipped clusters of flowers in late spring or early summer. Height to 1.5ft (45cm). The popular cultivar 'Gravetye Giant' has larger flowers.

Leucojum autumnale (autumn snowflake) has white flowers in late summer/autumn, one or more on each stem. The grassy leaves develop after the flowers. Height to 8in (20cm).

Leucojum vernum (spring snowflake) has strap-shaped green leaves, shorter at flowering time. The flowers are white with green tips in early spring. Height to 6in (15cm).