Plants - Flower Bulbs

Glory of the snow

Lorraine Hunter
Photography by
Getty Images

This tiny, colourful bulb is one of the first harbingers of spring.

- Glory of the snow thrives in full sun to part shade and grows best in moist, well-drained soil.

- Plant bulbs eight to 10 centimetres deep and six to eight centimetres apart, in informal clumps of at least 25 bulbs, as early as possible in fall to give them time to root before soil freezes.

- If you have room, drifts of 50 to 100 bulbs look spectacular.

Chionodoxa forbesii
From February to March, this species produces up to 15 lavender-blue flowers with white centres one to two centimetres wide. Varieties include ‘Alba', which has white flowers; ‘Blue Giant', which has slightly larger lavender-blue flowers; and ‘Pink Giant', with even larger, light pink blooms with white centres. Height 12 to 15 cm Zone 3

C. luciliae This species produces up to four one- to two-centimetre-wide, pale lavender-blue, upward-facing flowers per bulb. ‘Alba' produces white flowers. Height 10 to 15 cm Zone 3

C. sardensis (Turkish glory of the snow) The smallest variety, it produces eight or more bright, outward-facing, deep blue flowers per bulb. Because it's not as hardy as the other species, protect the bulbs with mulch to overwinter in Zone 4. Height 10 to 20 cm Zone 4

Chionodoxa forbesii ‘Blue Giant': 1, C. f. ‘Alba': 2, C. f. ‘Pink Giant': 3, C. luciliae: 4, C. l. ‘Alba': 5, C. sardensis: 6.

Botanus Inc.: 2, 3.

Breck's Bulbs: 1.

Campbell River Garden Centre: 2.

Dominion Seed House: 2-4.

Dutch Growers Garden Centre: 3.

Fraser's Thimble Farms: 2, 3.

Greengate Garden Centres Ltd.: 4.

Hole's Greenhouses & Gardens Ltd.: 4, 5.

Minter Country Garden: 4, 6.

Pépenière Jasmin: 3-5.

Simple Pleasures Flower­bulbs & Perennials, Inc.: 3, 5, 6.

Veseys Seeds Ltd.: 4.

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