Family: Amaryllidaceae
Common Name: Snowflake

This small genus of bulbous plants originates from western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The dainty, bell-shaped, nodding flowers look like large snowdrops and, as with most species, appear in spring. Ideal for mass planting in woodland gardens and shrub borders.


L. aestivum, summer snowflake, from southern Europe, grows to about 60 cm (24 in) high and has slightly fragrant, white flowers, tipped with green. These appear in late spring. This species likes a steadily moist, humus-rich soil.

L. autumnale grows to 20 cm (8 in), with white flowers tinted with pink in autumn. The leaves follow the flowers.

L. vernum, from Europe, grows to 30 cm (12 in), with white flowers tipped with green.


Plant these bulbs at a depth of 8 cm (3 in) and leave undisturbed for a few years. They like deep, well-drained soil and a warm, semi-shaded position. The autumn-flowering species should be planted out in midsummer and the spring- and early summer-flowering species in autumn. Once the leaves emerge, give regular, deep watering and continue until the foliage starts to die off.


Zone 5 for most species, zone 4 for L. aestivum.