Sp. Pl. 1: 288. 1753.


Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 140. 1754.

Common names: Snowdrop perce-neige
Etymology: Greek gala, milk, and anthos, flower, alluding to the color of the flowers
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 280. Mentioned on page 55, 293.

Herbs, perennial, scapose, from brown, tunicate, ovoid to globose bulbs; offset bulbs often present. Leaves 2(–3), basal, opposite, with sheathing blade, vernation flat and parallel, or convolute; nonsheathing blade erect to recurving at maturity, grayish green, linear-oblanceolate, glaucous; sheathing blade white, tubular, membranous, enclosing leaf bases and scape. Scape erect in flower, prostrate in fruit, green, solid. Inflorescences pendulous, 1-flowered, spathaceous; spathe bracteate, membranous; bracts 2, connate, split on 1 side. Flowers nodding, fragrant; perianath 2.5 cm or shorter; tepals 6, distinct, unequal; outer tepals spreading, white, narrowly obovate to almost orbicular, larger than inner; inner tepals overlapping, appearing tubular, green-spotted at apex only or apex and base, straight to semiorbicular, apex notched; stamens 6, inserted at bases of tepals, distinct; anthers basifixed, longer than filaments, bases lobed, apices tapered, dehiscense introrse, via terminal slits; ovary inferior, green, 3-locular, globose, septal nectaries present; style, white, unbranched, filiform; stigma indistinct to minutely capitate; pedicel wiry, short, slender. Fruits capsular, green, globose, fleshy, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 18–36, light brown, 3.5 mm, oblong to obtuse, elaiosomes fleshy. x = 12.


Introduced; Europe, sw Asia (Asia Minor, Iranian Caucasus, and Caspian Sea regions), introduced and naturalized elsewhere.


Species 14–17 (2 in the flora).

A number of Galanthus species, especially G. nivalis, are commonly cultivated for their late- winter and early–spring flowers, which emerge through the snow. Species of Galanthus are sometimes confused with Leucojum, snowflakes, a spring-flowering relative. The plants of Leucojum are usually taller, bear 2–3 flowers per stem, and their tepals are all equal.


1 Inner tepals blotched with green at base and apex or with green stripe from base to apex; leaves convolute within basal sheath. Galanthus elwesii
1 Inner tepals blotched with green at apex only; leaves flat and parallel within basal sheath. Galanthus nivalis
... more about "Galanthus"
Gerald B. Straley† +  and Frederick H. Utech +
Linnaeus +
Snowdrop +  and perce-neige +
Europe +, sw Asia (Asia Minor +, Iranian Caucasus +, and Caspian Sea regions) +  and introduced and naturalized elsewhere. +
Greek gala, milk, and anthos, flower, alluding to the color of the flowers +
Sp. Pl. +  and Gen. Pl. ed. +
1753 +  and 1754 +
davis1999a +, stern1956a +  and yeo1975a +
Galanthus +
Liliaceae +