Snowdrop Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'
greater snowdrop 'Daphne's Scissors'


Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors', commonly known as the snowdrop, is a distinct variety recognizable by its elegant, nodding white flowers. Each flower typically features three outer petals that are pure white and gracefully curve outwards, encompassing the shorter inner petals that can bear green markings. These inner petals have a unique notch at the tip, giving them a noticeable "V" shape, which is characteristic of the 'Daphne's Scissors' variety. The flowers emerge on singular, sturdy stems that rise from clumps of narrow, strap-shaped, grayish-green leaves. The foliage has a slightly fleshy texture, with some leaves displaying a delicate silver-green midrib. This ornamental plant usually blooms in late winter or early spring, introducing a striking contrast against the dormant landscape, often pushing through mulches or even snow to reveal its graceful flowers.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Giant Snowdrop, Greater Snowdrop, Elwes's Snowdrop, Daphne's Scissors

    • Common names

      Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Galanthus elwesii, commonly known as the giant snowdrop, contains chemical compounds that are toxic to humans if ingested. These compounds, primarily phenanthridine alkaloids, can cause symptoms of poisoning such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In more severe cases, ingestion could potentially lead to more serious effects such as dizziness, weakness, and incoordination. It is important to avoid ingesting any part of the giant snowdrop plant to prevent these toxic reactions.

    • To pets

      Galanthus elwesii, known as the giant snowdrop to pets, is toxic if ingested. Similar to its toxicity to humans, the plant contains alkaloids that can lead to gastrointestinal upset in pets, manifesting as symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling. In more severe cases, ingestion could result in lethargy and changes in heart rate or rhythm. Therefore, it is important to prevent pets from consuming any part of the giant snowdrop plant to avoid these potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4 inches (10 cm)

    • Spread

      4 inches (10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Early Bloomer: Galanthus elwesii, commonly known as Giant Snowdrop, often flowers in late winter, bringing cheer and early signs of spring to gardens.
    • Pollinator Attraction: Even during the cold months, they can attract and provide a food source for early-emerging pollinators like bees.
    • Low Maintenance: Giant Snowdrops are perennial and require minimal care once established, making them an ideal choice for low-maintenance landscaping.
    • Cold Hardy: These plants are well-suited to cold climates, often surviving and thriving in temperatures that damage or kill other plants.
    • Ground Cover: Due to their clumping nature, they can form a beautiful ground cover and effectively suppress weeds.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: The dainty white flowers of Giant Snowdrop add a unique charm to garden spaces, often when other plants are dormant.
    • Naturalizing: Giant Snowdrop bulbs can naturalize, meaning they multiply and spread over time, creating larger displays each year.
    • Shade Tolerant: They can grow in partial shade, making them versatile for planting beneath trees or in shadowy areas of the garden.
    • Deer and Rodent Resistant: Their foliage and bulbs are not favored by deer or rodents, reducing the need for protective measures.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Galanthus elwesii, commonly known as Giant Snowdrop, can be used as a natural pest deterrent in gardens due to its toxicity to certain rodents and other garden pests.
    • The bulbs of Giant Snowdrop can sometimes be utilized in botanical research for studying plant alkaloids and their effects on plants.
    • Giant Snowdrop is employed as an educational tool in botanical gardens and institutions to demonstrate plant life cycles and bulb growth to students and visitors.
    • The plant can serve as an indicator of climate change, as variations in its blooming time can reflect changes in local climates and seasonal patterns.
    • Giant Snowdrop is used in landscape photography due to its early bloom and contrast against the typically barren winter landscape.
    • Its delicate flowers are sometimes used as inspiration for artists and designers, influencing patterns in textiles, wallpaper, and fine arts.
    • Galanthus elwesii can act as a companion plant in orchards and vineyards, where its early blooming can provide an initial source of pollen for beneficial insects.
    • The dried flowers of Giant Snowdrop are occasionally incorporated into potpourri mixes for a subtle, natural fragrance in homes.
    • Due to its early emergence, Giant Snowdrop can be used in conservation efforts to create understorey diversity in woodland restoration projects.
    • The Giant Snowdrop can be interplanted with late-emerging perennials in ornamental gardens to optimize space usage throughout different growing seasons.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Snowdrop is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Snowdrop is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Purity: Galanthus elwesii, commonly known as the Giant Snowdrop, is often associated with purity because of its crisp white petals that can symbolize a clean slate or new beginnings.
    • Hope: As one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, the Giant Snowdrop is a symbol of hope and the coming of spring, representing the triumph over hardships and the certainty that better times are ahead.
    • Consolation: The gentle appearance of the Giant Snowdrop offers comfort and can symbolize sympathy and consolation, possibly linked to its ability to thrive in cold conditions and signal the end of winter.
    • Resilience: Surviving harsh conditions to bloom early in the year, the Giant Snowdrop represents resilience and the ability to persevere through challenging circumstances.

Every 2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3 years
Early Spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors') prefers consistently moist soil but does not tolerate standing water. Water thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry, usually about once a week depending on weather conditions. During the active growing period in late winter to spring, you may need to water more frequently. Ensure it receives about one gallon of water per watering session for a medium-sized clump. Reduce watering after the leaves start to yellow and die back post-flowering, signaling the plant is entering dormancy.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops like Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors' thrive best in partial to full shade conditions. They are well-suited for planting under deciduous trees where they receive dappled sunlight in the spring before the trees fully leaf out. Avoid direct, harsh sunlight as it can damage the delicate flowers and foliage of the snowdrops.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops, such as Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors', are hardy and can tolerate cold winter temperatures well below freezing, sometimes as low as -20°F. They do best in a temperature range of 35°F to 53°F during their active growth and blooming period. Snowdrops require a period of cold winter temperatures to trigger flowering in late winter to early spring.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is generally not required for snowdrops such as Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors', as they are small and maintain a neat appearance without intervention. However, after flowering, it is beneficial to remove spent flower stems to tidy up the plant. The foliage should be allowed to die back naturally, as it provides the nutrients for next year's growth.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Giant Snowdrop thrives best in a well-draining soil mix rich in organic matter with a slightly acidic to neutral pH between 6.5 to 7.0. A mix of loam, leaf mold, or compost with added perlite or grit for improved drainage is ideal.

  • plantRepotting

    The Giant Snowdrop, being a bulbous plant, does not need frequent repotting. It’s best to repot every 3 to 5 years or when clumps become overcrowded, ideally right after the leaves die back in late spring.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Giant Snowdrop prefers moderate humidity but is quite adaptable. It typically thrives in the humidity levels found in outdoor garden environments without special attention.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright, indirect light, and cool temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, enrich soil with compost.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors', commonly known as Elwes' snowdrop, begins its life as a bulb lying dormant under the soil during the summer months. In the fall, as temperatures cool, roots develop and anchor the bulb into the ground in preparation for winter growth. In late winter to early spring, foliage emerges, followed by singular, nodding white flowers, each marked with a unique pattern, distinguishing 'Daphne's Scissors' from other cultivars. After flowering, the plant enters a period of photosynthesis and growth, where it collects and stores energy in the bulb for the next year. The foliage dies back as temperatures rise in late spring, and the bulb enters a period of dormancy during the hot summer months. The cycle repeats annually, with the bulb potentially dividing and producing offsets, contributing to the natural propagation of the plant.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early Spring

    • Galanthus elwesii 'Daphne's Scissors', also known as the Giant Snowdrop, is most commonly propagated through the division of bulb clumps. The best time to divide and propagate these plants is after the foliage has died back, typically in late spring to early summer. To propagate by division, carefully lift the clumps from the ground using a garden fork, ensuring minimal damage to the bulbs. Gently separate the bulbs by hand, and replant them immediately to avoid desiccation. Plant the bulbs at a depth of about 3 inches (roughly 7.6 centimeters) and spaced approximately 3 inches apart to ensure enough room for growth. Water the newly planted bulbs to help settle the soil around them. This method not only helps to increase the number of plants but also rejuvenates older clumps that may have become too dense, thereby improving flowering performance.