Thursday, September 14, 2017

Spring and Summer Snowflakes, Leucojum

It's time to start thinking about buying spring bulbs for fall planting, so I thought I would do a series of posts featuring some of the more unusual possibilities.

Image from the free digital archives of the New York Public Library.

Leucojum is native to Western Asia and Europe, where they are found in damp woodlands and along streams.

There are two main species of Leucojum. Spring Snowflakes, Leucojum vernum usually bloom a few weeks after Snowdrops and go dormant in summer. Contrary to what the common name suggests, Summer Snowflakes, Leucojum aestivum bloom mid-spring.

Leucojum form a vase-shaped clump of long, narrow, dark green leaves. Their arching stems carry nodding, bell-shaped flowers with a little dash of green or yellow at the end of each tepal. These tiny, white bells have a light fragrance.

Leucojum like full sun to part-shade and rich, moist, well-drained soil. Plant them anywhere you might plant ferns, daffodils or narcissus.

Leucojum will tolerate some dryness during the summer, but in the spring period of growth and bloom, they need consistent moisture. If there is less than 2" of rainfall in any given week during that time, it a good idea to give them a deep watering.

To assist Leucojum with getting through the dry summer months, mulch them with some compost to keep the soil moist and cool.

 Leucojum are deer and rabbit resistant. Pesky squirrels don't like them either.

Leucojum and white daffodils planted in a row under some Crabapple trees at the 
Toronto Botanical Gardens.

White daffodils at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.


Plant Leucojum bulbs 3-4" deep and 4-6" apart. 

You'll find that a single or small group of bulbs won't be impressive. It's better to plant Leucojum in groups of a dozen or more bulbs.

Once established in the ground, they prefer not to be moved or disturbed.

Naturalized in large drifts they can look spectacular.

1 comment:

  1. I adore Leucojum....they are such a welcome sight and last for so long! Stunning photos.


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