Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Signs of Spring, Part 1: Snowdrops!

So, FINALLY, I saw a bulb peeking out of the ground this morning, at Liz Christy Garden. The garden was still closed, so I had to employ an early morning zoom, which as you may recall from previous posts, rarely delivers a great photo.

But still: who cares? Snowdrops were blooming!!

The botanical name for snowdrop is Galanthus nivalis and if you know your basic botanical Latin and Greek, it's a pretty direct translation of what we see below. Gala- is Greek for 'milk' and -anthus means flower (Chrysanthemum is another example using this suffix). Nivalis means growing in or near snow (or during winter). So we have a milk-colored flower that blooms in winter:

You can see that these bulbs create petite flowers -- they barely clear the Belgian block pavers and the plants can be easy to miss. But if you are walking past Liz Christy this weekend, be sure to appreciate the fact that the earth is warming and the days are getting longer, both signaling to plants that the growing season is beginning.


Anonymous said...

the leafs look like strawberry plant leaves, is this plant related?

Jennifer G. Horn said...

Actually, it's growing next to something that does in fact look like strawberry. But that's not the snowdrop's foliage.