Snowdrop Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'
greater snowdrop 'G. Handel'


The plant known as "G. Handel" is a charming snowdrop with a unique and delicate appearance. It is distinguished by its solitary, elegant flowers, each with three outer petals that are pure white and graceful in form. These outer petals cocoon smaller, inner petals that often feature a distinctive green marking. The green mark on the inner petals is a striking contrast to the white, giving the flower a touch of intricate detail. The leaves of "G. Handel" are slender and a fresh green in color, forming a tuft from which the flowering stalk emerges. Its foliage provides a complementary backdrop to the bright white blooms that gently nod down as if shyly presenting their inner beauty. While in bloom, this variety of snowdrop paints a picturesque scene, especially when planted in clusters. It is often a herald of the end of winter, as it is one of the first flowers to emerge, sometimes even pushing through snow to reveal its delicate blossoms. The overall appearance of "G. Handel" is one of simplicity and refined elegance—attributes that make it a beloved choice for gardens seeking to capture the essence of early spring.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Giant Snowdrop, Greater Snowdrop, Elwes's Snowdrop, Broad-Leaved Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel') is considered to be mildly poisonous to humans. The plant contains alkaloids such as galantamine which can cause symptoms if ingested. These symptoms may include gastrointestinal discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in severe cases, it can lead to dizziness and confusion. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some individuals. It is advised to avoid ingesting any part of the Snowdrop and to seek medical attention if poisoning is suspected.

    • To pets

      The Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel') is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. If a pet ingests any part of the plant, they may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and drooling. More severe cases of poisoning can lead to an increase in heart rate, breathing difficulties, and seizures. If you suspect your pet has ingested Snowdrop, it is critical to contact a veterinarian promptly as early treatment is important.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6-8 inches (15-20 cm)

    • Spread

      3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic appeal: Snowdrop 'G. Handel' has a delicate and graceful appearance that can enhance the beauty of winter gardens.
    • Early blooming: It blooms early in the year, often while snow is still on the ground, providing a welcome hint of spring during the late winter months.
    • Low maintenance: Snowdrops require minimal care once established, making them ideal for busy gardeners or those looking for easy-to-care-for plants.
    • Cold hardy: Snowdrop 'G. Handel' is tolerant to cold temperatures and can survive harsh winter conditions, making it suitable for many climates.
    • Naturalizing: This variety can spread and naturalize over time, forming beautiful drifts or carpets of white flowers.
    • Attracts pollinators: Early blooming snowdrops provide a valuable nectar source for bees and other pollinators emerging in late winter and early spring.
    • Resilience: Snowdrop 'G. Handel' is resistant to most pests and diseases, ensuring a robust and healthy display year after year.

  • 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

    • Snowdrop 'G. Handel' bulbs contain a natural antifreeze. This antifreeze has been studied for possible use in preserving human tissues for transplantation.
    • The plant's resilience to cold is inspirational for clothing designers when developing materials and coatings for extreme weather garments.
    • Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel' can be used as a natural marker for the changing seasons, which is helpful for phenological studies tracking climate change.
    • Dried snowdrop flowers are used in crafting, especially in making delicate bookmarks and in scrapbooking for their intricate and elegant floral designs.
    • As an early bloomer, the snowdrop can be an educational tool in botanical studies to exemplify the lifecycle of perennial bulbs and early plant development in temperate zones.
    • Because of its symbolic association with hope and purity, snowdrops are sometimes used in floral arrangements for weddings and christenings held in late winter and early spring.
    • In literature and poetry, snowdrops are often referenced as a metaphor for resilience and the persistence of life, making them useful in teaching literary devices.
    • Photographers and painters commonly use snowdrops as subjects to capture the essence of early spring and the contrast between the snow-white flowers and the often still wintry backdrop.
    • Snowdrops, including 'G. Handel', play a role in garden and landscape design, used for naturalizing in woodlands or lawns to create drifts of white, signaling the end of winter.
    • Horticultural therapy programs sometimes incorporate snowdrops to help individuals connect with the cycle of nature and to aid in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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, commonly known as snowdrops, is often associated with purity due to its pristine white flowers, symbolizing a clean slate or innocence.
    • Hope: Snowdrops are one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter and the beginning of spring, thus symbolizing hope and the promise of new beginnings.
    • Consolation: In the language of flowers, snowdrops can represent consolation or comfort, particularly because they appear when the earth seems most barren, offering a sign of life in the cold.
    • Death: Less commonly, snowdrops can symbolize death due to their presence in graveyards and their emergence when the earth is still quite cold and seemingly lifeless, possibly representing the end of life or mourning.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Snowdrop 'G. Handel' should be watered deeply to ensure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, typically every week during active growth periods in the spring. Reduce watering frequency to every other week or less once the plant goes dormant after flowering, depending on rainfall and temperature. Aim to provide about 1 gallon of water per square foot every month during the growing season, adjusting for precipitation and soil type. It is crucial to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to bulb rot.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrop 'G. Handel' thrives best in partial shade to full sun conditions. It is ideal to plant it in a spot that receives morning sun and afternoon shade or dappled sunlight throughout the day. Avoid deep shade, as this can reduce flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrop 'G. Handel' is winter-hardy and tolerates temperatures down to about 10°F, making it suitable for growing in a range of climates. The ideal temperature range for this plant is between 35°F and 55°F, which aligns with the cool to mild conditions it prefers during its flowering period in late winter to early spring.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not generally required for Snowdrop 'G. Handel', but it is beneficial to remove spent flowers and yellowing foliage after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance and prevent self-seeding if desired. The best time for this light pruning is once the foliage has died back naturally in late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Galanthus, commonly known as snowdrop, thrives in humus-rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. A mix of loamy soil, compost, and perlite or sand will create an ideal environment for snowdrops to grow.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops (Galanthus) typically don't require frequent repotting. They are generally repotted once every 3 to 4 years, or when they become overcrowded in their current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrops (Galanthus) prefer moderate humidity levels but are quite adaptable and can tolerate the varying humidity levels commonly found in outdoor garden settings.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Keep in bright, indirect light and cool temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, and protect from harsh sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel', commonly known as the snowdrop, emerges in late winter or early spring, sprouting from bulbs positioned several inches below the soil surface. The leaves appear first, followed closely by singular, nodding white flowers characterized by their unique green markings. After flowering, the plant undergoes photosynthesis for a period while the leaves are still green, storing energy in the bulb for the next season. As temperatures rise in late spring, the foliage yellows and dies back, at which point the snowdrop enters a period of dormancy during the summer months. During dormancy, the bulb remains underground, where it is insulated from heat and drought. In the fall, the bulb may produce daughter bulbs, thereby increasing the plant's population, and then remains dormant until the environmental conditions trigger the next growth cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method for propagating Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus 'G. Handel', commonly known as Giant Snowdrop, is through division of its bulb clusters. This is best done when the plant is dormant, from late spring to early summer, after the foliage has died back. To propagate, carefully dig up the clump of bulbs and gently separate them, ensuring each new section has at least one bulb with the basal plate intact. Replant the bulbs immediately at the same depth they were growing before, which is typically about 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters) deep, and water them well to help establish the newly divided bulbs. This method allows for a relatively fast increase in the number of plants and can help rejuvenate older clumps that have become too dense.