Queen Olga's snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Queen Olga's snowdrop


The plant commonly known as the Queen Olga's snowdrop, is a distinctive and charming flowering perennial. Recognizable by its nodding white flowers that resemble droplets, it is a herald of early spring or late autumn, depending on the climate. Each flower consists of three outer petals that are pure white and curved gracefully to shelter the inner petals. The inner petals are also white but typically feature a distinctive green mark or bridge at the tip. The foliage of Queen Olga's snowdrop is basal, meaning the leaves emerge from the base of the stem. These leaves are narrow and linear with a deep, rich green color that contrasts beautifully with the brightness of the flowers. The leaves often appear either alongside or shortly after the flowers bloom. The plant also produces oblong seed capsules after the flowers have been pollinated, although they are less noticeable than the showy flowers. Overall, its delicate floral display and the fresh green foliage make the Queen Olga's snowdrop a prized plant for gardeners seeking to add early or late hints of color to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Queen Olga's Snowdrop, Autumn Snowdrop, Royal Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus corcyrensis, Galanthus reginae-olgae subsp. vernalis, Galanthus vernalis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant known as Snowdrop (Galanthus reginae-olgae) can be toxic to humans if ingested. The plant contains alkaloids such as galantamine, which can cause gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In severe cases, ingestion can lead to neurological symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, and tremors. Accidental ingestion of snowdrops should be taken seriously, and medical advice should be sought promptly.

    • To pets

      Snowdrop (Galanthus reginae-olgae) is also toxic to pets, including cats and dogs, if any part of the plant is ingested. The symptoms of poisoning in pets are similar to those in humans; they can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and lethargy. In more severe cases, pets may develop seizures, incoordination, and cardiac abnormalities. Immediate veterinary attention is necessary if a pet ingests this plant to provide appropriate care and prevent more serious health consequences.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      4-6 inches (10-15 cm)

    • Spread

      3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Galanthus reginae-olgae, commonly known as Queen Olga's snowdrop, is valued for its delicate and attractive white flowers that enhance the aesthetic of gardens and parks.
    • Early Blooming: Queen Olga's snowdrop is one of the first plants to bloom in late winter or early spring, providing an early splash of color.
    • Wildlife Attraction: The flowers of Queen Olga's snowdrop can attract pollinators such as bees, providing them with a valuable food source when other flowers are not yet available.
    • Naturalizing: This plant tends to naturalize and spread over time, forming carpet-like displays that can cover large areas of the ground.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Queen Olga's snowdrop requires minimal care, making it a fuss-free option for gardeners.
    • Drought Tolerance: It has the capacity to withstand periods of dryness once it's well-established, reducing the need for frequent watering.
    • Cold Resistance: The plant is hardy in cold climates, surviving freezing temperatures and often emerging through snow.

  • 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

    • Indicator of Spring Arrival: The snowdrop (Galanthus reginae-olgae) often flowers early, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
    • Winter Garden Interest: Snowdrops provide a unique aesthetic to gardens during the bleak winter months, introducing a delicate white bloom against the mute palette of winter.
    • Symbolic Gift: The snowdrop can symbolize purity and the return of happiness, making it a meaningful gift during times of transition or at the start of a new year.
    • Honey Bee Attraction: Snowdrops are a valuable nectar source for honey bees when not many other plants are flowering.
    • Education and Research: Botanical gardens and educational institutions use snowdrops to teach about plant biology and the phenology of flowering times in response to climate change.
    • Art and Photography: The distinct shape and hardiness of the snowdrop makes it a favored subject for botanical illustrators and photographers.
    • Conservation Awareness: As a plant that can be affected by environmental change, the snowdrop can be a flagship species for conversations on biodiversity and conservation.
    • Cultural Events: In some cultures, the blooming of snowdrops is celebrated, and festivals are held to welcome the early signs of spring.
    • Culinary Decoration: While not commonly eaten, the aesthetic of snowdrop flowers can be used as an edible decoration for high-end dishes in gourmet cooking.
    • Gardening and Breeding: Snowdrops are popular among gardeners for hybridization, leading to various cultivars with different petal shapes and markings.

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 reginae-olgae, commonly known as Snowdrop, often blooms in late winter or early spring, piercing through the snow. It symbolizes the hope and the arrival of spring after the long, cold winter, representing a renewal of life and fresh beginnings.
    • Purity: Its pristine white color epitomizes purity and innocence. In the language of flowers, a bouquet of snowdrops might convey a message of sympathy and a desire for forgiveness.
    • Consolation or Comfort: In the Victorian language of flowers, snowdrops carried the meaning of comfort and consolation. They offered a visual reminder that winter would soon pass and better days would come.
    • Bravery: The snowdrop's ability to emerge through frozen ground is seen as a symbol of courage and the ability to overcome challenges and obstacles.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrop, or Galanthus reginae-olgae, should be watered sparingly, as the plant prefers well-drained soil and does not tolerate standing water. During the active growing season, typically in late winter to spring, water once a week with approximately 0.25-0.5 gallons depending on the size of the plant and the dryness of the soil. Reduce the frequency of watering after the foliage begins to die back in late spring, as the plant enters a dormant period. Over-watering can lead to bulb rot, so it is crucial to allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops thrive best in partial to full shade, with filtered sunlight. They are ideal for planting under deciduous trees, where they receive early spring sunlight before the trees fully leaf out, and then are protected from the harsher light as the canopy fills in. Avoid direct afternoon sunlight, especially in warmer climates, to prevent scorching their delicate foliage.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops are quite hardy and can tolerate cold weather well; they can survive in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and are typically found in USDA hardiness zones 3-8. The ideal temperature range for promoting growth and flowering is between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While snowdrops can endure brief periods of warmer temperatures, prolonged heat above 65 degrees Fahrenheit may impair their growth and dormancy cycles.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not commonly required for snowdrops as they are small, bulbous plants that naturalize and spread on their own. However, once flowering has finished and the leaves begin to yellow, which is normally late spring, you can cut back the foliage to tidy up the plant. Throughout the growing season, remove any damaged or dead plant material to maintain good health and appearance. Pruning, in this case, is mainly for aesthetic reasons and to prevent potential disease by removing unhealthy tissue.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    For Snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae, a well-draining soil mix with added grit or perlite is best to mimic its natural woodland habitat. Incorporate leaf mold or compost for fertility, maintain pH between 6.5 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae typically doesn't require frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years, repot only if the clumps become overcrowded.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrop Galanthus reginae-olgae prefers average humidity levels indicative of its natural temperate habitat; it does not require high humidity to thrive.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure cool temperatures, bright indirect light for indoor Snowdrops.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, sheltered location for outdoor Snowdrops.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA.

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus reginae-olgae, commonly known as Queen Olga's snowdrop, begins its life cycle when seeds are dispersed in late spring, often by ants through a process called myrmecochory. The seeds germinate, developing into small bulbs which remain dormant underground through the summer. In early autumn, the bulbs break dormancy and produce narrow, strap-shaped leaves and a flowering stem with typically a single pendulous white flower marked with green. After flowering, the plant undergoes photosynthesis through its leaves to store energy in the bulb for the next season. Once the leaves die back in late spring, the bulb enters a period of dormancy during the hot, dry Mediterranean summer. The cycle resumes again with the next autumn rain, prompting the next generation of growth and flowering.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method for propagating the plant Galanthus reginae-olgae, commonly known as Snowdrop, is through the division of bulbs. Propagation is best done when the bulbs are dormant, which is typically in late spring or early summer after the leaves have withered. To propagate, carefully lift the clumps of bulbs from the ground using a garden fork, ensuring that you maintain as much of the root system as possible. Gently separate the bulbs by hand, making sure that each offset has a portion of the basal plate, which is necessary for the development of new roots. Replant the bulbs immediately at a depth of around 3 inches (approximately 7.6 centimeters) and spaced about 3 inches apart to ensure they have ample room to grow. Water them in well to help establish the roots, and they should start to grow once the weather cools and winter approaches.