Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

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


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