Snowdrop Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'
greater snowdrop 'Green Brush'


The Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush', commonly known as the 'Giant Snowdrop', is a striking perennial plant known for its distinctive early-spring flowers. The appearance of the 'Green Brush' variety is characterized by its elegant, drooping white flowers that resemble lampshades. Each flower features a single outer whorl of three large, oval to oblong petals that are crisp white in color. These encase a shorter inner set of petals which are also white but adorned with a unique green brushstroke-like marking at the tips, giving the variety its name 'Green Brush'. Below the flowers, the plant has slender, grayish-green leaves that are often folded and have a linear to strap-shaped form. These leaves emerge from the base of the plant and typically arch gently towards the ground, giving the plant a grace and softness in its foliage presentation. The overall appearance of 'Giant Snowdrop' is one of simplicity and beauty, with a contrast between the pure white petals and the splash of green that is eye-catching when the plant is in bloom. The 'Green Brush' variety stands out in the garden for these ornamental qualities and its ability to signal the end of winter with its early blossoming.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Giant Snowdrop, Elwes' Snowdrop, Greater Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as snowdrop is considered mildly toxic to humans. Ingesting any part of the plant can potentially cause symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some individuals.

    • To pets

      Snowdrop is also toxic to pets, such as cats and dogs. If a pet ingests any part of this plant, symptoms could include vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. In severe cases, ingestion could lead to more serious effects, although this is rare. It is advisable to prevent pets from having access to snowdrops to avoid any potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      3 inches (7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush', commonly known as Snowdrop, adds beauty to gardens with its distinctive green-marked, bell-shaped white flowers.
    • Early Bloomer: Snowdrops are among the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, often emerging through snow, and providing an early source of nectar for pollinators.
    • Low Maintenance: Snowdrops require minimal care once established, making them suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners.
    • Naturalizing: They readily self-seed and spread over time, creating a naturalized effect in the landscape. This makes them ideal for woodland gardens or as ground cover.
    • Cold Tolerance: As winter-hardy plants, snowdrops can survive and thrive in cold climates, making them a robust choice for gardens in cooler regions.
    • Pest Resistance: Snowdrops are generally resistant to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments in the garden.

  • 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

    • Photography subject: Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush', or Giant Snowdrop, due to its unique green markings, is often used by macro photographers for its intricate details and early spring bloom.
    • Indicator of climate change: Observations of the Giant Snowdrop's flowering time can be used by scientists as an indicator of changing seasonal patterns.
    • Natural dye: The blooms and foliage of Giant Snowdrop may be used to create a subtle green dye for fabrics or paper.
    • Cottage garden design: Giant Snowdrop is ideal for creating a traditional cottage garden look when planted en masse under deciduous trees.
    • Artistic inspiration: The unusual green brush marks on the petals inspire artists and can be found depicted in paintings, drawings, and textiles.
    • Frost protection indicator: The appearance of Giant Snowdrop flowers can indicate when the danger of hard frost has likely passed in certain regions.
    • Seasonal celebrations: In some cultures, the bloom may be used as a decorative element in celebrations that welcome spring or symbolize renewal.
    • Theme gardens: Gardeners can use the Giant Snowdrop to create a 'winter interest' or 'spring ephemeral' themed garden.
    • Educational tool: The plant can serve as an aid in teaching children or gardening enthusiasts about bulb propagation and early spring bloom cycles.
    • Culinary decoration: While not typically consumed, the flowers can occasionally be used as an ornamental garnish for spring-themed dishes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    Snowdrop is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    Snowdrop is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Hope: Galanthus, more commonly known as Snowdrop, often blooms during the late winter or early spring, pushing through the snow and symbolizing hope and the arrival of better times.
    • Purity: The pristine white color of the snowdrop flower is traditionally associated with purity and innocence.
    • Consolation: Snowdrops can symbolize consolation or comfort due to their early appearance as a sign that winter is nearing its end.
    • New Beginnings: As one of the first flowers to emerge after winter, snowdrops symbolize new beginnings and rejuvenation.

When soil is dry
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The common name for Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush' is Giant Snowdrop. To properly water Giant Snowdrop, it should be watered deeply so that the moisture reaches the bulbs, but this should be done sparingly. During the active growth period in late winter and spring, water when the top inch of soil feels dry, usually about once a week, with approximately a half gallon for outdoor plants and less for those in containers. Cut back on watering after the leaves yellow and die back, as the plant is entering dormancy. Over the summer, when the plant is dormant, watering is generally unnecessary unless there is an extended period of drought.

  • sunLight

    Giant Snowdrop thrives in partial to full shade conditions. The best spot for this plant is typically under deciduous trees or shrubs where they receive dappled sunlight in the spring before the foliage of the trees fully develops, and then shade during the summer months. Avoid placing them in full sun, as this can cause the plant to overheat and potentially damage the foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Giant Snowdrop prefers cool to moderate temperatures and is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7. It can survive minimum temperatures of around -40 degrees Fahrenheit during its dormant period in the winter. The ideal temperature range for active growth is between 35 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is not suited to very warm climates, as it requires a period of cold to prompt flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning of Giant Snowdrop is generally not required as they are low maintenance plants. Deadheading, or the removal of spent flowers, can be done to encourage more blooms and prevent self-seeding if desired. The best time for any form of light pruning would be after the flowers have faded and before the leaves have died back completely.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Giant Snowdrop 'Green Brush' thrives best in a soil mix that is rich, moist, and well-draining, with a preferred pH range of 6.0 to 7.0. A suitable mix can be made from equal parts of loam, leaf mold or compost, and sharp sand to ensure proper drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    The Giant Snowdrop 'Green Brush' typically does not need frequent repotting; it can be repotted every 3 to 5 years or when the bulbs multiply and become overcrowded in their current container.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Giant Snowdrop 'Green Brush' is tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels but prefers moderate humidity, which mimics its natural woodland habitat. Average indoor humidity should be sufficient.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil moist.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in dappled shade, and ensure soil remains moist.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush', commonly known as 'Green Brush' snowdrop, begins its life as a bulb, which remains dormant underground during the hot summer months. In late winter to early spring, the bulb breaks dormancy and produces narrow, lanceolate leaves along with singular, nodding white flowers that have unique green markings on the inner petals. After flowering, the plant undergoes photosynthesis to gather energy, which is stored in the bulb for the next season. Once the leaves yellow and die back in late spring, the plant goes dormant again. Throughout its life, the plant may produce offsets or daughter bulbs that grow into genetically identical clones, gradually forming clumps. Seed production is possible after pollination, allowing for genetic diversity and dispersal to new growing areas, although in cultivation, bulbs are more commonly divided to propagate the plant.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagating Galanthus elwesii 'Green Brush', commonly known as the Giant Snowdrop, is via offset bulbs. The ideal time to propagate is when the plant's foliage has yellowed and started to die back, typically in late spring or early summer. To propagate, carefully lift the clump of snowdrops from the ground using a garden fork, ensuring minimal disturbance to the roots. Once lifted, gently separate the offset bulbs from the parent bulb. These offsets are smaller bulbs that have formed at the base of the parent plant. Replant the offsets immediately at the same depth they were growing originally, which is typically around 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters) deep, spacing them about 3 inches apart. This method is straightforward and usually results in flowering plants within one to two growing seasons.