Leucojum vernum L.

A bulbous perennial, it bears a few only erect, strap-like leaves and stout, leafless stems with 1, sometimes 2, bell-shaped, green-tipped white flowers in early spring.  To 30cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Fist botanically described by Linnaeus in 1753 [Sp. Pl. p.289/1753].

The Snowflake is a rare bulbous plant, perfectly hardy, but impatient of wet in winter.’  [Gard. Chron. 1850].  According to Paxton's Dictionary introduced to Britain in 1596.  The varieties carpathian, introduced in 1816, and multiplex are also listed.  ‘The blossoms of the Leucojum and Galanthus, or Snow-Drop, are very similar at first sight, but differ very essentially when examined; the Snow-Drop having, according to the Linnaean description, a three-leaved nectary, which is wanting in the Leucojum; the two genera then being very distinct, it becomes necessary to give them different names; we have accordingly bestowed on the Leocojum the name of Snow-flake. […] It is found wild in shady places and moist woods in many parts of Germany and Italy.’  [BM t.46/1786].  FS f.1103/1856.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.297/1843].


Leucojum vernum Gueldenst. (b.1781) = Leucojum aestivum L. which see.

Published May 17, 2009 - 03:07 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2012 - 04:41 PM

Depicted is a single white, cup-shaped flower with green spots, with bulb and leaves.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.46, 1786.

Leucojum vernum L. | BM t.46/1786 | BHL


More details about Leucojum vernum L.
Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Southern Europe

  • Erinosma verna (L.) Herb.
  • Nivaria verna (L.) Moench


Common Name

Spring snowflake

Name in the Camden Park Record

Leucojum vernum  


Confidence level high