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Common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) at Kew Gardens

Sponsoring one of Kew’s renowned bulb displays is a special way to celebrate the life of a loved one or to remember a special anniversary or family event.

Galanthus nivalis

Introducing Galanthus nivalis

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

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

The leaf-tips of the common snowdrop 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. A sure sign that spring is on its way.

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


Closed flowers of the common snowdrop

The flowering of common snowdrops traditionally heralds the end of winter.

Snowdrops at Kew Gardens

The common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) can be found in the Conservation Area at Kew Gardens, part of Kew's 16-hectare Natural Areas, which are around Queen Charlotte's Cottage.

Given to Kew by Queen Victoria in 1898, this area now includes many British trees such as oak, beech, holly and yew.

In spring the common snowdrop appears together with native bluebells and wild garlic. Other flowering species include lillies, narcissi and primroses.


Sponsor a display of flowering bulbs

The 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 in the Secluded Garden glasshouse at Kew Gardens 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 Kew Gardens from the list below
  • download our Commemorative Giving Donation form, complete and return it
  • or call 0208 332 3200 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) to make a donation by card