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Snowdrop Blooming in the Rock Alpine Garden

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A native of Turkey and the Balkans, Galanthus elwesii (giant snowdrop) is found throughout these countries and into Bulgaria, northeastern Greece, eastern Serbia and Montenegro on into the Southern Ukraine.  It differs from the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis in its galucous leaves and more eastern distribution.  It is traditionally one of the first flowers to open outside at Denver Botanic Gardens each year and often opens by mid-January. Right now it is about 2" tall but as the month progresses it will reach about 5-6 inches.

It enjoys a moist well-drained soil with some shade, especially in summer.  If you purchase bulbs, make sure they are from a reputable source that sells only cultivated stock as opposed to wild collected bulbs. Wild collected bulbs are a big threat to Galanthus in their native countries.  Giant snowdrop can be seen behind the Cactus and Succulent House in the Rock Alpine Garden next to the Cheesman Park fence.

Mike Kintgen, Horticulturist

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