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Snowdrop: the milk flower

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Snowdrop: the milk flower

In January it seems winter will never end and then we enter another cold, bleak month in February. However, there are small signs that reminded us that things are changing and spring is just around the corner, the most obvious being that the days start getting longer at quite a fast rate and the birds begin to sing again, some a bit tentative perhaps, but the signs are there.

For most of us, however, it is the appearance of the first spring flowers that tell us spring is on the way and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are amongst the first and in February they seem to be in flower everywhere. Sadly, they are not really a native species to the British Isles being found mainly in central Europe but over the years they have become naturalised from garden escapes and now are found on banks, hedgerows and waysides across Dorset, especially in churchyards and near the parks and gardens of our more 'stately' homes! Whatever the weather throws at them they seem to be able to cope and thrive.

There are various members of the snowdrop family one might encounter, all garden escapes in this country, but this one Gallanthus nivalis is the most common. Galanthus means 'milk flower'; from the Greek gála meaning "milk", ánthos meaning "flower" (Wikipedia) whereas nivalis means snow-like.  The 'snow-like milk flower' is a member of the lily family and is a particular favourite of ours in the Orchard family and we look forward to them every spring as Ann knows a poem about them; "Where are the snowdrops said the sun ....".


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 9 months ago

In case you missed them

... here are my other

... recent nature notes!

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