Leucojum vernum var. carpathicum

posted in: Gardening | 24

this is an image of Leucojum vernum var carpathicum

What if you walked the same path for years then one morning a flash of white catches your eye. You see something in the distance you’ve never noticed before among the twiggy bare stems of the brambles.  You go and investigate a little further. Push away the thorny branches and there much to your delight you find a flower. In fact a flower you have never seen before. Standing tall with its blooms nodding in the breeze ...and its not a snowdrop!  You've found Leucojum vernum var. carpathicum – Spring Snowflakes!

This happened to me last week as I was walking along Perth Town lade.  How I missed these little beauties during previous Springs is beyond me. But until this encounter I had only seen a few pictures of them on the internet.

They are much taller than common snowdrops. They have large bell type flowers and dark green narrow lanced shaped leaves.  The scalloped edges have 'little dabs of yellow paint' on the ends of the petals tepals and many stems have two flowers.

A snowdrop has 3 long and 3 short tepals while a Lecojum has 6 tepals all the same size. 

They like being in the semi shade, in very moist soil. While the seed heads are inflated so that the seeds can be dispersed by water. No wonder they are growing along the banks of the lade as they have perfect growing conditions there. 

They are native to Europe, Africa and the Middle East and are more suited to warmer climates where snowdrops struggle. 

The name Leucojum comes from the Greek leukos meaning white and ion meaning violet, which refers to its very delicate fragrance. While Vernum means of the spring.


Do you think that this little bulb gets a bit overlooked and needs greater recognition by us gardeners?


Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh. If you'd like to receive the latest leavesnbloom blog posts by email click here.

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24 Responses

  1. Edith Hope

    Dear Rosie, What a magical discovery for you and how wonderful to come across this delightful spring flower growing naturally in the wild. The conditions, as you say, must be exactly right – shade and damp. For me, L. vernum has always flowered quite a bit after the snowdrops so, rather strangely, I have never associated them together.

    My warmest wishes to you and your family for a happy and peaceful Easter time. I do very much hope that the weather will be nice enough to take one of your favourite walks.

  2. leavesnbloom

    @Edith Hope Thank you so much Edith – its interlude time just now – hail stones and rain all afternoon but I had a productive morning in the garden.

    From my internet source it says its a March April bloom time though these ones are nearly finished blooming now. We still have snowdrops flowering around here which is so unusual for the begining of April.

  3. Heather

    Lucky you to come across these! I've never seen them before – thank you. Enjoy your Easter!

  4. maiaT

    They are very beautiful and your macros are great. Here by us they grow together with snowdrops in the forest and I thought they are another species of snowdrops. Now I know.
    To tell the truth, I tried to capture them but my photos were not even satisfactory.
    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  5. Curbstone Valley Farm

    Happy Easter Rosie! I saw a post about a month back mentioning snowflakes. Until then I hadn't realized there were both snowflakes and snowdrops. They're so pretty, and I could certainly see the virtue of having both in the garden. Lovely photographs!

  6. Katarina

    You sure found a real treasure! Those flowers are adorable – and your shots of them are super!
    -Happy Easter!

  7. fini

    I never seen this flower in my life! this is a great discovery!! thanks a lot!

  8. jodi (bloomingwriter)

    I have had leucojums in my garden, Rosie, but never yellow tipped ones like that! They're delightful. I've noticed other blog posts where leucojums were mis-identified as snowdrops, which is easily done if one isn't familiar with them.

  9. Mumsy

    Thanks for such an informative post on snowdrop flowers. They are beautiful, and I would love to grow these in my garden!

    Happy Easter..

  10. Mumsy

    Sorry Rosie, I meant to say Snowflakes, rather than snowdrops. I have only seen them from other blogs, and they all called them snowdrops!

  11. Sara Chapman

    Such adorable little white flowers. I would like to see them side by side with the more common ones. Good research! I have never heard of tepals, only sepals. Interesting!

  12. camissonia

    As always, such lovely photos, Rosie. Indeed, you really don't need an SLR to take great pictures. The skill is in eye of the photographer. Even with my Canon EOS, I'm a point and shoot kinda gal, meaning my photography is often hit and miss. The joys and surprises of spring never cease to amaze. Happy Easter!

  13. Gail

    Hello! What a sweet surprise! This is the best little bulb for my southern garden…when I feel green with envy over snowdrops I can comfort myself knowing snowflake is happy here! Happy Easter~~gail

  14. Ami

    I love this kind of surprise! I can see why you are so excited! At first, I also thought it is same as snowdrop like many others have posted in their blog, and then I noticed the yellow instead of green on the flower. I tis just beautiful! Thanks for your friend to help you to get the perfect shot to share with us all!

    Happy Easter and a nice weekend!

  15. Jay

    Pretty little flower! Thanks for the explanation, I imagine a lot of people see it and think it's a snowdrop!

  16. Colleen

    I have never seen this flower before. Thank you for introducing me to them. I love the little yellow dot on each petal.

  17. Meredith

    Rosie, they are lovely! I've never seen them before at all, or heard of them. I love the golden painted markings, very much at home in spring. 🙂

  18. Helena

    These are really beautiful flowers. I've never seen them before! Thanks for sharing. 🙂