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Leucojum vernum February - ('Snowpake or snowflake')

Leucojum vernum

This Leucojum is a bulbous perennial for woodland, part shade or full sun. Clump forming. Prefers humus rich soil, and is a nice meal for slugs! Plant bulbs in Autumn. Leucojum vernus - the Snowpake - is a good alternative to - and easier to establish than - the snowdrop.

The snowpake - Leucojum vernum flower closeup

The snowpake - Leucojum vernum flower closeup

The pure white pendant 'bell' flowers are more showy than the snowdrops, and are higher off the ground 8 - 10 inches ( 25cms) The white flowers have attractive green tips, and are held aloft of the dark green straps of foliage, which in any event appear after the flower stems have reached their height.

Growing and Caring for Leucojum vernum - the Snowpake

The bulbs should be planted in the autumn, with a damp but well drained soil being best.

They will also grow quite well in a semi-woodland situation in light shade. They can be attractive in a container. This brings them 'nearer' to the house at a sometimes bleak time of year!

Naturalising Leucojum - Leucojum vernum in particular, is suited well to naturalising, and will do well in any grassy area. Make sure not to mow off the foliage until it has died right down. They are also happy when planted beneath trees in large drifts for effect.

They are related to snowdrops - and often get confused as being those. Leucojums have larger flowers.

The bulbs are available in the Autumn at good garden centres, and should be planted as soon as possible in the Autumn. Plant the bulbs at twice their depth - around 2-3in (5cm). Add a little bonemeal at this time.

Propagation of Leucojum vernum

After flowering and foliage has died down, you can carefully lift any mature clumps and remove some of the offsets for planting elsewhere. They are best displayed in 'drifts' rather than as single plant clumps.

Leucojum from seed - Leucujum can be grown from seed harvested when ripe, or stored until Autumn and then sown in container and placed in cold frame or protected area in an unheated propagator. The seedlings should emerge in the late spring, and then grown on for a further year before being planted in permanent position.

Problems with Leucojum - The early spring foliage can be attractive to slugs - especially in a warm damp spring. Narcissus fly can be a problem - but rarely with the spring flowering types such as Leucojum vernum.

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