Snowdrop Galanthus 'Desdemona' (d)

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


Galanthus 'Desdemona', commonly known as a variety of snowdrop, is a charming and delicate-looking plant. It features narrow, lance-shaped leaves that are a bright, glossy green. These foliage blades grow from the base of the plant, forming a tuft that cradles the flowers. The snowdrop is most known for its distinctive flowers, which hang from a single, slender stem, looking much like droplets on the verge of falling. Each flower is composed of three outer petals that are long and pure white, encasing smaller, inner petals that often have green markings at the tips. The inner petals are usually shorter and may form an inverted V or U shape, giving the flower a unique, elegant appearance. Snowdrops emit a subtle fragrance and are one of the early bloomers that herald the end of winter, as they often appear while the ground is still cold and frosty.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Snowdrop, Common Snowdrop

    • Common names

      Galanthus 'Desdemona'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The common name for Galanthus 'Desdemona' is snowdrop. Snowdrop plants are considered mildly toxic to humans when ingested. The plant contains alkaloids such as galantamine, which can cause physical discomfort if consumed. Symptoms of poisoning from eating parts of the snowdrop can include gastrointestinal upset, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some cases, ingestion may lead to more severe symptoms, including low blood pressure, tremors, and confusion. It is generally advised to avoid eating any part of this plant.

    • To pets

      The common name for Galanthus 'Desdemona' is snowdrop. Snowdrop plants are toxic to pets if ingested. The toxicity stems from alkaloids like galantamine that can be harmful to animals. If a pet consumes parts of a snowdrop plant, they might exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. More severe signs of poisoning can include drooling, lethargy, seizures, and incoordination. It is important to prevent pets from eating any part of the snowdrop plant to avoid these potential health issues.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      3 inches (7.5 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Galanthus 'Desdemona', commonly known as snowdrop, provides delicate beauty to gardens with its nodding white flowers and bright green foliage.
    • Early Bloomer: It is one of the first flowers to bloom in late winter or early spring, often pushing up through snow, offering hope of the coming spring.
    • Pollinator Friendly: Snowdrops are valuable for bees and other pollinators that are active during the early part of the season and rely on their nectar.
    • Low Maintenance: Snowdrops require minimal care once established and can naturalize, spreading to form a carpet of white blooms.
    • Drought Tolerant: Once established, they are relatively drought tolerant and can survive in dry conditions during their dormancy in the summer.
    • Cold Hardy: Snowdrops are hardy in cold climates, able to withstand winter chill and still flourish year after year.
    • Deer and Rodent Resistant: These plants are typically not favored by deer and rodents, making them a good choice for gardens plagued by these pests.

  • 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, commonly known as snowdrop, petals can be crystallized and used as edible decorations for desserts, providing a delicate and unique garnish.
    • Snowdrop bulbs may be used in a "forcing" process indoors to provide early bloom and a touch of spring during late winter in bowls or pots.
    • Used in the art of flower pressing, snowdrops can be preserved and included in handcrafted greeting cards or botanical displays.
    • Snowdrop flower essence is claimed to help in balancing emotions and is used by practitioners of Bach flower remedies, though this is not scientifically proven.
    • The plant can be a subject of botanical illustration, contributing to educational materials or art prints due to its aesthetic beauty.
    • Snowdrop motifs are often found in textile designs, wallpaper, or interior decorations, adding a delicate and seasonal touch.
    • Gardeners might plant snowdrops to create a 'white garden', where the theme involves using plants that bloom in shades of white.
    • The snowy white blooms of snowdrops are sometimes used as a symbol in literature and art to represent purity, hope, and the return of happiness.
    • They are planted in memory gardens as their early spring appearance can be symbolic of remembrance and the continuity of life.
    • In photography, snowdrops provide a popular subject for macro-photography enthusiasts, due to their intricate and delicate structure.

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

    • Hope: Galanthus, commonly known as snowdrop, often symbolizes hope because it is one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter, signaling the arrival of spring.
    • Purity: The snowdrop's white petals are frequently associated with purity and innocence, making it a symbol of these virtues.
    • Consolation or Comfort: In the language of flowers, snowdrops can represent consolation or comfort, especially as they appear when the weather is still cold and harsh.
    • New Beginnings: As harbingers of spring, snowdrops are emblematic of new beginnings and the fresh start that the season brings.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-5 years
Early spring
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    For Snowdrops, including the variety Galanthus 'Desdemona', water them deeply to encourage proper root development during their active growth period, typically in the fall and late winter to early spring. In general, aim to water the soil around the Snowdrops to keep it consistently moist but not waterlogged, checking moisture levels at least once a week. Adjust the frequency depending on weather conditions, with increased watering during dry spells. A rough estimate would be about 1 gallon per square yard every week during active growth, but make sure to monitor the soil moisture to avoid overwatering.

  • sunLight

    Snowdrops, such as the Galanthus 'Desdemona', thrive best in partial shade to full sun. They are ideal for planting under deciduous trees where they can receive dappled sunlight or in a spot that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Bright but indirect light helps them bloom well, so ensure they are positioned away from the harsh midday sun to prevent scorching their delicate flowers.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Desdemona' prefer cooler temperatures and are hardy in a range of conditions. They can survive winter temperatures down to around 10 degrees Fahrenheit and are suitable for growth in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 7. The ideal temperature for these plants is between 35 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as this simulates their native habitat of chilly, late winter to early spring weather.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Snowdrops like Galanthus 'Desdemona' is minimal. After blooming, resist the temptation to cut back the foliage until it naturally withers and turns yellow, as the leaves are gathering energy for next year's blooms. Generally, no pruning is needed other than removing spent flower heads if you wish to prevent self-seeding. Pruning is best done in the late spring after the plants have finished their life cycle for the year.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Snowdrops enjoy well-draining soil rich in organic matter with a preferred pH of 6.5 to 7.5. A mixture of loamy soil, compost, and a bit of sand for drainage makes the best soil mix for these plants.

  • plantRepotting

    Snowdrops rarely need repotting as they are perennial and often naturalize, spreading through seeds and offsets. Repotting may be done every 3 to 5 years if clumps become too dense.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Snowdrops prefer outdoor conditions with natural humidity levels; they do not require specific humidity adjustments as long as they're planted in the ground.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with cool temps.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in partial shade, rich soil, water moderately.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-9 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Galanthus 'Desdemona', commonly known as 'Desdemona' snowdrop, begins its life cycle as a bulb, which lies dormant underground through the summer months. Upon the arrival of winter, the bulb sends up slender leaves and a flower stalk, typically while the ground is still cold and frosty, as snowdrops are known for their early spring blooms. The flower stalks bear small, distinctive white drooping flowers, usually appearing between late winter and early spring. After flowering, the plant enters a period of photosynthesis and growth while the foliage is still green, allowing the bulb to replenish and store energy for the next season. As temperatures rise in late spring, the snowdrop's foliage yellows and withers, indicating that the plant is entering dormancy once more. The cycle repeats annually, with the bulb surviving underground until the following winter, bearing new blooms each year.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Early spring

    • Galanthus 'Desdemona', commonly known as a variety of snowdrop, is typically propagated through division, which is best done when the plants are dormant from late spring to early summer. This process involves carefully lifting the clump of bulbs from the ground using a garden fork, then gently separating the bulbs by hand. Each bulb should have a portion of the base and some roots attached. These individual bulbs can then be immediately replanted in prepared soil, spaced about 3 inches (approximately 7.5 centimeters) apart. The bulbs should be placed with the pointed end facing upward, at a depth about three times the height of the bulb. Ensuring the newly planted bulbs are watered well will help them establish more quickly in their new location.