Ikariae is a princess of snowdrops with its virginal white outer petals and then lime-green markings on its inner perianth. For us lesser mortals, it is easy to confuse Ikariae with Woronowii snowdrops but Ikariae have much larger U shaped markings on the inner perianth which might take up at least half of that area. For galanthophiles and those who are looking for something a little bit different, Galanthus ikariae makes a change from the equally beautiful but more common Galanthus nivalis. It will grow in all soils, requiring some sun and the room to spread a little. The dark, matt leaves form attractive, erect clumps. Galanthus ikariae will spread over two to five years rewarding you with a snowy river of white.
Snowdrops are the harbinger of spring. Since the weather is not so clement our suggestion is to plant them somewhere obvious from your house or your car as you drive in. All snowdrops look good in a swathe down a bank, or along a drive or under a dark, evergreen hedge, lightening dark corners and providing contrast in scale. In spite of their elegant, nodding heads reminiscent of bowing courtiers, they are plucky little things to emerge at this darkest and coldest time of the year when very little else is flowering. A favourite combination is to plant snowdrops among Hellebores like Helleborus orientalis and niger, the Christmas and Lenten roses. Another thought is to underplant Viburnums bodnantense or tinus or the flaming whips of Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' or Cornus sibirica to guarantee real winter wow.
This species of snowdrop originate from the Greek islands in the Aegean sea, specifically Andros, Ikaria, Naxos and Skyros. It was first discovered on Ikaria, named after Icarus, the son of Daedalus who flew so close the sun with his wings fashioned of feathers and wax that they melted and lead to his downfall and his death. The u shaped markings on the petals almost mimic a pair of wings.