I always feel that spring is here or on its way when the lovely Spring Snowflake: Leucojum vernum blooms.
The flowers look a bit like fat, bell-shaped snowdrops at first glance. They make me think of pure, white Tiffany lampshades. Each flower has six tepals edged in green. A tepal is the word you use when you can’t tell if it is a petal or a sepal. Snowdrops have tepals too but as Galanthophiles know they have three long and three short tepals rather than equal sized ones like those of the Leucojum.
You can get Leucojums edged with yellow rather than green. The name for the yellow-edged ones is Leucojum vernum var. carpathicum. I foolishly planted mine close to the green ones. The resulting children as you see on the photo are neither green nor yellow- edged but something in between.
If you want your Leucojums with two heads to a stem then Leucojum vernum var. Wagneri is the one to look out for. I haven’t tried these because I think one head is enough per stem.
These lovely snowflakes are about the same height as snowdrops and they have green strap-like leaves. They soon clump up and they seed around too. Despite the name ‘vernum’ which means spring, they start flowering in winter. Confusingly the tall snowflake: Leucojum aestivum starts flowering in spring although aestivum means ‘summer’. This has similar shaped white flowers but is a much bigger plant. It grows well in boggy ground and in my garden spreads rather more than I’d like it to. It is not as eye-catching as Leucojum vernum because their is so much more foliage. Pauline at: LeaduptheGardenpath shows us some Leucojum aestivum which are coming out now on a recent post.
I like to grow Leucojum vernum with the purple leaved Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea.
On a recent post called ‘Serendipity’ Alain at RocheFleurieGarden said how he enjoyed accidental plant combinations which are often even better than the ones we devise. I was delighted with the way this Euphorbia put itself in the middle of a little primrose. Or did the primrose put itself in the middle of the Euphorbia? I am not sure but I like the effect.
I love this purple leaved Euphorbia with snowdrops, snowflakes and primroses.