Elwes's Greater Snowdrop Bulbs

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General Info RHS AGM, Wildlife Value
Shade Full Shade, Partial Shade
Area Coastal Areas, Exposed Windy Areas, Frost Pockets, Scotland & The North
Soil Good, Well Drained, Acidic, Alkaline/Chalky
Colour White/Cream
Ornamental Fragrant
Flowering Jan, Feb
  Buy 2 or more bareroot packs and save

SIZES 1 2-45+
Pack of 25 Out of Stock at Present £7.19Out of Stock at Present£7.13Out of Stock at Present£6.60
  Prices include VAT(where applicable)



Snowdrop, Elwesii needs...
  • Mycorrhizal Fungi for Bulbs, Corms, Tubers

    Rootgrow, Bulb Starter

    From £3.60

Galanthus elwesii

The Elwes Snowdrop is a welcome addition to our range of snowdrops. It is much rarer than the common snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis so you should snap these up as we never have many. As with G. nivalis it has three, pure white outer tepals which can be up to 2.5 cm long. The smaller, inner petals are flared at the tip with bold green markings that vary: sometimes there are two marks, sometimes just one and sometimes two join together. This is the stuff of Galanthophile fantasy! It flowers earlier than G. nivalis and is also a taller growing, more substantial snowdrop with glaucous, grey leaves. Its nodding head is supported on strong, sturdy stems that are very upright. It has a wonderful honey scent if you can bend down that far..... a lovely plant which is why it holds an RHS Award of Garden Merit

Sand and sun

Snowdrops have a particular affinity to limestone or alkaline soils. But even without one of these, snowdrops will do well if you just make sure there is enough drainage. Add grit, sand, leafmould and organic matter to heavy clay soil where you wish to plant any snowdrop. Even where you see snowdrops doing well in damp soil in the wild, the chances are that the water is on its way somewhere and not stagnant. G. Elwesii is particularly suitable for naturalising because its bulbs bulk up quickly giving you a great return on your investment and a carpet of white flowers to boot. While most snowdrops like the dappled shade of a woodland edge, Elwesii's greyer leaves mean that it actually does well in sunnier, more open positions too. If you want to include your snowdrops in a planting plan then they will befriend aconites, celandine, Cyclamen coum and that contemporary-looking, black Ophiopogon grass. They are perfect grown under roses or around the base of Viburnums or in between Hellebores with which they associate particularly successfully. If you have any ornamental creeping bramble as groundcover, plant some Galanthus Elwesii to peep out from its evergreen leaves in winter. Once flowering is over, feed your snowdrops with a water-on soluble food or something like slow release Vitax Q4. This will encourage them to produce more flowers and more bulblets.

Features of Galanthus Elwesii

  • Colour: white, with green markings
  • Height: 10-20 cm
  • Scent: honeyish
  • Flowering: January-February
  • Bulb Size:
  • Planting Depth: 10 cm/
  • Foliage: glaucous, grey
  • Planting Months: immediately on receipt

And what is more....

Galanthus elwesii is native to Turkey, Greece and the former Yugoslavia. It was named in 1875 after Henry John Elwes (1846-1922), the well known Victorian plant-collector and traveller who lived at Colesbourne Park near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. It is worth making the pilgrimage to Colesbourne to view the snowdrop spectacle that is open to the public every year and is testament to his passion for snowdrops of all types.

You may see it listed as Galanthus graecus in older literature. 

  • Small Box

    Small boxes

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    including VAT per order


    For ORDERS
    Over £60 inc VAT

  • Small box

    (All barerooted plants under 1.2 metres in height. Please note: all trees are charged at the trees and hedging rate.)


    including VAT per order


    For ORDERS
    Over £60 inc VAT

  • Medium box

    (Any pots up to
    and incl. 7.5L)


    including VAT per order


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  • Trees & Hedging

    (For all orders of trees of any size, and all bareroot plants 1.2 metres and over in height)


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  • Pallets

    (For all orders of root balls,
    and large orders, a pallet
    price will be automatically
    applied at checkout)


    including VAT per order

*Delivery to mainland Britain & the Isle of Wight ONLY. Surcharges to the Isle of Wight and some areas of Scotland apply.

Bareroot planting is best done between November and April
Bareroot and potted - what's the difference?

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