This page will contain photos and information on all the New Species.
If we run out of new species we will use this page to display information on some of the species found in the Dene.
10 Facts about Snowdrops
1. Snowdrop’s scientific name
is Gallanthus. This
means ‘milk flower.’ The common snowdrop we normally see with one flower per
stem is a Galanthus nivaliswhich translates as ‘milk flower of the snow.’
2. Snowdrops were named after
earrings not drops of snow. In the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries women often
wore dangly, white drop-shaped earrings known as ‘eardrops.’ Some other common
names of snowdrops are: Fair Maids of February, Candlemas Bells, White Ladies,
Little Sister of the Snows, Snow Piercers, Dingle-dangle, Flower of Hope and
3. Snowdrop’s contain a
natural anti-freeze. Even if they collapse in freezing weather they recover
once the temperature rises.
4. When temperatures reach
10C (50F) and above, the outer petals open up revealing the nectar inside. When
the temperature drops the petal shield closes and protects the nectar. Nature
is rather magical as this is perfect for bumble bees which come out of
hibernation when the temperature rises above 10C! Snowdrop pollen and nectar is
an early spring feast for many bees. The green stripes inside the snowdrops are
like landing lights guiding them to one of the only restaurants open this early
in the season.
5. Snowdrops and their bulbs
are poisonous to humans. Some people have mistaken their bulbs for onions or
shallots but they would have to eat an awfully lot of them to be fatal.
6. Snowdrops are used in
medicine to help people. Galamantine extracted from snowdrops is now used in a
treatment to slow down dementia in Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Although there are gardens
and woodlands where we can see thousands and thousands of snowdrops, they are
endangered and even under threat of extinction in some countries where they
naturally grow in the wild. This is because too many were dug up to sell to gardeners
across the world. Since 1995 international trade has been banned unless you
have a special license.
8. There are lots of legends
and myths about snowdrops. One of them was the belief that you should never
bring in a single or first snowdrop into the home as it was unlucky or even
meant there would be a death soon. That’s why it’s known sometimes as the
‘death-flower’ and the flower is described as a ‘corpse in a shroud.’
9. Galanthomania! People who
are crazy about snowdrops and/or collect them are known as ‘Galanthophiles.’
Special new ‘mutant’ varieties are sold for huge sums of money. One bulb called
Gallanthus plicatus ‘Golden Fleece’ was sold for £1,390 pounds sterling. Some
of these collectable bulbs are so precious they are kept locked up or watched
over by security guards. As a result of this Galanthomania – snowdrop craze – there are snowdrop galas and
special events held worldwide attended by Galanthophiles.
are actually many legends and myths about snowdrops which are native across
large parts of Europe extending out to the Ukraine, western Turkey and even
parts of the Middle East. They are not native to the UK although they were
introduced before 1600