Snowdrop Galanthus 'Ailwyn' (d)

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


Galanthus 'Ailwyn' is commonly known as a snowdrop variety, displaying the characteristic delicate charm associated with these harbingers of spring. The plant boasts slender, arching leaves that are a fresh green color, creating a grass-like clump from which the flowers emerge. Each flower is hanging, with a droplet shape, creating a sense of dainty elegance. The petals are pure white, which gleams against the backdrop of the foliage. The inner petals display a unique marking of green, which can vary in shape or design depending on the specific plant, but generally follows a pattern reminiscent of a bridge or an 'X' shape. The snowdrop flower is noted for its simple yet captivating beauty, with a contrast between the pristine white outer petals and the small green-tipped inner segments, drawing the eye and signaling the end of winter’s grip.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop, Ailwyn Snowdrop.

    • Common names

      Galanthus 'Ailwyn'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Snowdrops, including the Galanthus 'Ailwyn' cultivar, contain toxic alkaloids such as galantamine. If ingested by humans, any part of the plant can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In more severe cases, ingesting snowdrops may lead to reduced heart rate, confusion, and potentially fatal complications if consumed in large quantities.

    • To pets

      Snowdrops, the species which includes the cultivar Galanthus 'Ailwyn', can be toxic to pets if ingested. They contain harmful alkaloids like galantamine which can cause symptoms in pets such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, and hypersalivation. In severe cases, ingestion of snowdrops may result in cardiac issues, seizures, and can be potentially life-threatening for the pet if a substantial amount is consumed.

  • 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

    • Early Bloomer: Galanthus 'Ailwyn', commonly known as Snowdrop, blooms early in the year, often signaling the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
    • Attracts Pollinators: They provide an early source of nectar for bees and other pollinating insects at a time when few other plants are flowering.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: Snowdrops have a delicate beauty with their nodding white flowers that can enhance the visual appeal of gardens during the late winter and early spring.
    • Low Maintenance: Snowdrops are generally easy to care for, requiring minimal maintenance once established in the right conditions.
    • Naturalizing: They spread over time to form natural drifts or carpets, which can be an attractive feature in woodland gardens or naturalized areas.
    • Hardiness: Snowdrops are hardy plants that can survive cold winter temperatures, making them suitable for a variety of climates.
    • Companion Planting: They work well when planted under deciduous trees and shrubs, taking advantage of the light available before these plants come into leaf.
    • Wildlife Friendly: Their presence supports the early spring ecosystem and provides food for wildlife when it's scarce.
    • Tolerates Different Soil Types: Snowdrops are adaptable to a range of soil types, though they perform best in moist, well-drained conditions.
    • Historical Interest: Snowdrops have been a beloved feature in gardens for centuries, and they often feature in literature and folklore.

  • 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

    • Art and Illustration: Snowdrops like 'Ailwyn' are often used as subjects in botanical art and can be found in watercolor paintings, drawings, and illustrations adorning homes and galleries.
    • Garden Design Themes: Snowdrops can be used to create a 'white garden' theme, where various plants with white flowers are grouped together to create a serene, monochromatic display.
    • Floral Language and Symbolism: Snowdrops are a symbol of hope and purity; they can be used to convey these messages when given as gifts in bouquets or grown in a garden intended to symbolize new beginnings.
    • Winter Interest in Gardens: Due to their early flowering period, snowdrops are used to provide interest in gardens during the winter months when most other plants are dormant.
    • Education and Conservation: Snowdrops can be used in educational programs about plant life cycles, particularly how bulbs grow, and the importance of conserving plant species with limited habitats.
    • Photography: Their early blooming and delicate appearance make snowdrops popular subjects for photographers, especially in the genre of macro and nature photography.
    • Culinary Garnish: Although not commonly consumed, the flowers of snowdrops could theoretically be used as a decorative garnish for plating upscale dishes due to their unique and attractive appearance.
    • Beekeeping: Snowdrops are a valuable source of pollen for bees in late winter and early spring, and they can be planted by beekeepers to provide an early-season food source for their hives.
    • Crafting and Decoration: Dried snowdrop flowers can be used in crafting, such as in the creation of wreaths, potpourri, or to embed into candles for decorative purposes.
    • Literature and Poetry: The presence of snowdrops in literature and poetry is notable, and they often appear as motifs representing the transition from winter to spring in stories and poems.

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 'Snowdrop,' often symbolizes purity because of its white, pristine petals that bloom against the backdrop of late winter's austerity.
    • Hope: The snowdrop is one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, signifying the impending arrival of spring and the hope for new beginnings.
    • Consolation: Due to its modest appearance and its ability to bloom in the harsh conditions of late winter, the snowdrop also represents consolation or comfort during difficult times.
    • Resilience: The snowdrop's capacity to endure and thrive in cold winter temperatures symbolizes resilience and the ability to overcome challenges.

When soil is dry
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Late spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Snowdrops, like Galanthus 'Ailwyn', should be watered moderately. They prefer to be kept moist but not waterlogged. During their active growth period in late winter to spring, ensure the soil never dries out completely by giving them about one inch of water each week, which is equivalent to 0.623 gallons spread out over that time. When they are dormant in summer, water sparingly, just enough to prevent the soil from becoming completely dry. It is important to avoid overwatering as this can lead to bulb rot.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops thrive best in partial shade to full sun. An ideal spot for them is under deciduous trees where they receive dappled sunlight in the spring before the trees fully leaf out, providing some shade during the hottest part of the day. Too much full sun can lead to the leaves scorching, while deep shade may result in poor flowering.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops generally prefer cooler temperatures and have a good tolerance for cold, surviving in temperatures as low as 10°F once established. The ideal temperature range for Galanthus 'Ailwyn' during their growing season is between 35°F and 53°F. However, they should be planted and nurtured in the fall before the ground freezes to ensure a healthy bloom cycle in late winter to early spring.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning snowdrops such as Galanthus 'Ailwyn' is limited to removing spent flower heads after blooming to maintain a tidy appearance. Additionally, foliage should be allowed to die back naturally and should not be cut until it has turned yellow, as the leaves are replenishing the bulb for the next season. This typically means that pruning is seldom required and is mainly for aesthetic reasons once a year after flowering.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrops prefer well-drained soil enriched with organic matter; a mix of loam, leaf mold or compost, and coarse sand works well. They thrive in a soil pH of around 6.0 to 7.0.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops typically do not require frequent repotting and can be left undisturbed for several years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrops are quite tolerant of a range of humidity levels but thrive best in moderate ambient humidity.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Snowdrops near a window for partial sunlight and cool temperatures.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Snowdrops in partial shade and cooler spots of the garden.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of a Galanthus 'Ailwyn', commonly known as 'Ailwyn' snowdrop, begins with a dormant period during late spring to summer, where the bulb rests underground. As autumn approaches, the roots start to grow, absorbing nutrients from the soil. In late winter to early spring, the snowdrop emerges from the soil, producing a flower stem with a single, pendulous, bell-shaped white flower, often marked with green at the tips of the tepals. After pollination, which is often facilitated by early spring insects, the flower develops into a capsule fruit containing seeds. Once the seeds are dispersed, often by ants attracted to their fleshy attachments (elaiosomes), they germinate when conditions are favorable, typically in moist, well-drained soil with partial shade. The newly formed bulbs grow and follow the same cycle, reaching maturity within a few years to continue the propagation of the species.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late spring

    • The Galanthus 'Ailwyn', commonly known as the snowdrop, is typically propagated through division. The best time to do so is in late spring when the snowdrop foliage has died back, usually in April or May. You should carefully lift the clump of bulbs out of the ground with a spade, taking caution not to damage them. Gently separate the bulbs, ensuring that each division has at least one growing point. These bulbs can then be immediately replanted at the same depth they were originally growing, which is approximately 3 inches (or about 7.5 centimeters) deep, and watered in. This method of vegetative propagation ensures genetic consistency and is a reliable way to expand your collection of snowdrops. It also allows the plants to recover and establish themselves during the dormant summer months, preparing them for the next blooming season.