Plants to look for in January — Snowdrops

Photo credit: John Ockham

Where to look

They can be found in gardens and damp woods and meadows. They are widespread.


The scientific name for the snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis. The first part of the name is from the Greek, "gala", which means milk, and "anthos" which means flower, while the second part, "nivalis", comes from the Latin for snow. Snowdrops are usually pollinated by early bees but because there aren’t many around during the winter, they rarely produce seeds and most plants are sterile. Where seeds are actually produced, they contain substances which attract ants which collect and transfer seed via their underground tunnels. However, most types of snowdrops spread by division of the underground bulb. Galanthamine is a substance isolated from snowdrops that can be used to improve sleep!

Where we've found Snowdrops

Snowdrops spottings journal (17 seen)

Last seen Location Spotted by Group Notes
4 Feb 2021 CasparB Caspar B
1 Feb 2021 Stroud Cemetery Stanley Brimacombes They were white and pretty.
23 Jan 2021 Stroud Gavin Blended Great to see these out in the woods this afternoon.
23 Jan 2021 Stroud Tamsin Stroud Valleys Project
21 Jan 2021 St James Church Yard Juliet Barton and Tredworth I spotted these snowdrops in the churchyard and they made me feel so hopeful and gave me the motivation to sign up to Wild Classrooms
2 Jan 2021 Tewkesbury Graham Wright Family Snowdrops in a pot
2 Jan 2021 Tewkesbury Shahnaz Wright Family In our garden.
2 Jan 2021 Tewkesbury Shurjo Wright Family Snowdrops In our garden.
20 May 2020 Ruscombe Mrs A Year 2 CPS
5 May 2020 Local garden Amélie Cooks&Co
7 Apr 2020 Edge Churchyard Jo The Weaver's
2 Apr 2020 Cranham Rob Cotswold Forager
24 Mar 2020 Lower Amble, Cornwall. Gavin Blended Spotted in Lower Amble, Cornwall.
12 Mar 2020 Blended
28 Feb 2020 Edie L Layfield Leafgatherers These snowdrops are in our back garden
13 Jan 2020 Tamsin B Stroud Valleys Project We found these at slimbridge
10 Jan 2020 Ilse L Layfield Leafgatherers We found these snowdrops in our back garden. They haven't flowered yet as it's not quite Spring.


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