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11 Mar 2024

The PLANTS project: snowdrop season at Branklyn Garden

Written by Alistair Chalmers and Charlotte Bottone
Clusters of snowdrops grow on a woodland floor covered with dry leaves.
Galanthus nivalis f. pleniflorus ‘Flore Pleno’ at Branklyn Garden | Image: Charlotte Bottone
February was the peak of the snowdrop season and the PLANTS Project East team have decided to look back at five of their favourite snowdrop varieties encountered at Branklyn Garden.

The scientific name for snowdrop, Galanthus, derives from ancient Greek: gala (milk) and anthos (flower) – an allusion to the flower’s iconic colour. There are about 20 defined species of snowdrop but over 1,000 known hybrids and cultivars. Avid collectors, known as ‘Galanthophiles’, pay enormous sums of money for the latest type of snowdrop. In 2022, a single bulb of Galanthus plicatus ‘Golden Tears’ sold for £1,850.

Initially this little plant may seem unassuming, but upon closer inspection there is a wide variation among snowdrops, including unusual markings and interesting tepal [the outer part of the flower] forms. During the East team’s audit of Branklyn Garden this February, we surveyed over 180 cultivars of this fantastic winter flower. Here are some of our top picks.

These fabulous snowdrop displays can be enjoyed during Branklyn’s annual snowdrop festival – the next one will take place in February 2025.

Branklyn Garden will reopen to the public on Friday 29 March 2024.

Plant Listing at the National Trust for Scotland (PLANTS) is the biggest horticultural audit project undertaken by the Trust and aims to celebrate, protect and better understand the flora and vegetation across our gardens and designed landscapes.

Read more about the PLANTS project

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