Galanthus nivalis


For many of us, the first sign of spring and the promise of milder weather just around the corner is the first clump of brave Snowdrops we spy poking their way through the soil of a woodland, churchyard or town garden. Yet despite its long history in the UK, the Snowdrop may not actually be native here; it is a native of damp woods and meadows on the continent, but was not recorded as growing wild here until the late 18th century. Nevertheless, it has certainly become naturalised from garden escapees, and white Snowdrop 'valleys' can now be seen across the country.

How to identify

Snowdrops are a familiar spring flower, coming into bloom in January and flowering until March. Look for their famous nodding, white flowers, each carried on a single stem. The narrow, grey-green leaves appear around the base of the stem and these plants often form clumps.

Where to find it



When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves sympathetically for a range of spring flowers, from early Snowdrops to fragrant Ramsons, showy Bluebells to delicate Wood Anemones. A mix of coppicing, scrub-cutting and ride maintenance open up the woodland floor to the sun, helping many flowers and plants to thrive. You can help too: volunteer for your local Wildlife Trust and you could be involved in everything from traditional forest crafts to raising awareness about woodland wildlife.

Species information

Common name
Latin name
Galanthus nivalis
Height: up to 25cm
Conservation status
Possibly introduced species but widely naturalised.