Summer snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum., is the correct common name of what we frequently call snowdrops. The foliage comes up in February and looks almost exactly like that of the daffodil, which blooms about the same time.
The flowers usually appear in March. They are tiny, white dangling bells about one-half inch long. Each petal sports a tiny green dot. I like to pick a few for my kitchen window so I can see them “up close.” As with all tiny blooms, it is intriguing to look at them with a magnifying glass that I keep nearby.
For those from other areas of our country, snowflakes might be considered a substitute for “lily of the valley,” which doesn’t do well in our East Texas heat. Snowflake blossoms last longer than daffodils-up to a month or even six weeks. They slowly increase in number each year and should probably be divided every six years.
They must be “pass-along-plants.” I got my first 28 bulbs (with leaves attached) from a friend in Tyler who was dividing hers. Later I got more from my aunt in Jefferson; and because I left the foliage attached until it dried on its own, neither batch missed a season of blooming.
Carolyn Bonifay, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service