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Common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) at Wakehurst

Sponsoring one of Wakehurst's stunning bulb displays is a special way to celebrate the life of a loved one, remember a special anniversary or family event.
Closed flowers of the common snowdrop
The three outer petals of the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) are pure white and double the length of the three inner ones, so that they overlap each other to form a little cup.

Introducing the common snowdrop

Galanthus is Greek in origin and signifies milkflower and nivalis is a Latin adjective, meaning relating to, or resembling, snow.

The snowdrop is an early flowering bulbous plant that prefers the moist shady setting of woodlands and boggy meadows. Extremely hardy, it originates from Europe and Asia Minor and has now naturalized in Britain.

The leaf-tips of snowdrops are hardened in order to break through the frozen ground and the solitary white bell-shaped flowers with slender leaves of bluish-green provide a welcome sight during the winter months.

Common snowdrop at Wakehurst

Detail of common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis)

The common snowdrop flowers in late January, heralding the end of winter.

20,000 bulbs have been planted beneath the oaks, outside the Visitor Centre, providing the perfect welcome to the Gardens at Wakehurst.

Species information

The common snowdrop is in the family Amaryllidaceae. As well as being planted ornamentally, it has medicinal uses and snowdrop lectin can be used as an insecticide.

Sponsor a display of flowering bulbs

These bulb displays are available for sponsorship of £250 each and funds raised will be used for the planting and maintenance of the Gardens.

Your dedication will be recorded on the Commemorative Touchscreen Register, located in Kew's Millennium Seed Bank and you will receive a personalised certificate detailing your chosen species.

To sponsor a display:

  • choose the plant species that you would like to sponsor at Wakehurst from the list below
  • download our Commemorative Giving Donation form, complete and return it
  • or call 020 8332 3200 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) to make a donation by card