Plant Description

Leucojum aestivum

Leucojum aestivum Gravetye Giant with Colocasia Black Magic

The snowflake (ht 45-60 cm) is a frost-hardy European bulb that is easy to grow in Sydney in shade (even heavy shade) or sun. It belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, members of which generally thrive in our climate. It likes humus-rich, reasonably moist soil (even boggy spots!) but will cope with more ordinary conditions fairly well. In winter it produces pristine white nodding bell-like flowers with tiny green markings, and these continue into early spring. The flowers are said to smell faintly of chocolate! The lush green foliage is narrow and strap-like; it should be allowed to die down naturally after flowering, even though this is a rather untidy stage.

The bulbs can be given an all-purpose fertiliser after flowering and given occasional liquid feeds once the leaves appear in autumn. The bulbs can be left in the ground from year to year and will form big clumps; every three or four years, these can be divided up. The cultivar 'Gravetye Giant' (ht to 90 cm) is a taller growing form, with larger flowers; it flowers later than the species in my garden, appearing in late August. Snowflakes look effective grown in clumps nearby stark white-flowered hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus) which come into bloom around the same time.


Leucojum aestivum
Suitable for Cut Flowers.
Flowers from July to September.
Plant Family: Amaryllidaceae

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