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Plants that fill a similar niche:
Allium moly Flower form
Convallaria majalis leaves and flowers
Leucojum has some common insect problems:
Narcissus Bulb Fly

Snowflake Leucojum

Other plants called Snowflake:

Previously known as:

  • Erinosma
  • Narcissoleucojum
  • Nivaria
  • Polyanthemum
Phonetic Spelling
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below

Leucojum is a genus of beautiful woodland perennial bulbs that produce white nodding bell-shaped flowers and vase-shaped clumps of dark grassy leaves. The leaves are erect, about 12 inches long, and 1 inch wide. The flowers are usually 3 to 6 blooms that appear at the top of a hollow flower scape that is about 12 to 15 inches long. Each flower has 6 tepals that have lime-green accents at the tips. The flower bulbs are brown and ovoid.

There are 2 species of Leucojum. They include Leucojum aestivum or Summer Snowflake, which blooms in mid-spring or late April and then goes dormant during the summer. There is also Leucojum vernum or Spring Snowflake that blooms in early spring or mid-March. They are members of the Amaryllidaceae or amaryllis family. 

The genus is native to portions of Europe to Northern Iran. They are found in marshes, wetlands, moist meadows, and thickets,

The genus name, Leucojum, is derived from the Greek name for a variety of white-flowered plants. The Greek word, leukos, means white and references the color of the blooms. 

The bulbs are easily grown in rich, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. During their growing and blooming season, they need consistent moisture, but they will tolerate drier soils during their dormant period. The bulbs should be planted 3 to 4 inches deep and about 4 to 6 inches apart. They are best left undisturbed once planted. Mulching is recommended to keep the soil cool and moist. The bulbs will naturalize over time. After the flowers have finished blooming, it is best to allow the foliage to continue growing until it withers away. 

The summer snowflake is commonly cultivated and is known to naturalize. These plants are commonly confused with Galanthus, but the hollow stems of Leucojum are usually taller and have 3 to 6 blooms. If ingested, the leaves and bulbs of Leucojum are highly poisonous and contain alkaloids known as lycorine and galantamine.

Leucojum is well-suited for borders, containers, near ponds or streams, and naturalized areas. They are best planted in groups of at least 15 or more bulbs. Large drifts of these white blooms would be beautiful in the landscape, and you will enjoy these flowers for many years to come.

Seasons of Interest:

Bloom: Spring to Fall--dependent on species   Foliage: Spring, Summer, or Fall--dependent on species

Quick ID Hints:

  • perennial bulb
  • dark green, 12-inch long, grass-like leaves
  • 3 to 6 white, nodding bell-shaped flowers with 6 tepals per scape
  • bloom tips are accented with lime-green
  • the flower scape is hollow and 12 to 15 inches long

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This perennial bulb has no serious insect or disease problems. The bulbs and leaves are highly poisonous if ingested.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.


Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
#bulb#fragrant flowers#white flowers#perennial bulbs#shade garden#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#deer resistant#summer bulbs#border planting#clumping#clay soils tolerant#spring flowering bulbs#black walnut toxicity tolerant#fall bulb#erect#poisonous leaves#landscape plant sleuths course#woodland
Cultivars / Varieties:
#bulb#fragrant flowers#white flowers#perennial bulbs#shade garden#low maintenance#rabbit resistant#deer resistant#summer bulbs#border planting#clumping#clay soils tolerant#spring flowering bulbs#black walnut toxicity tolerant#fall bulb#erect#poisonous leaves#landscape plant sleuths course#woodland
  • Attributes:
    Life Cycle:
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe to Northern Iran
    Native: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corse, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungry, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, North Caucasus, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia. Introduced: Canada--Nova Scotia, Denmark, Finland, Japan, New South Wales, New Zealand, South Australia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States--AL, AR, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA MS, MO, NY, NC, OH, OR, PN, SC, TN, TX, and VA.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Deer and rabbit resistant.
    Bulb Storage:
    Store bulbs dry at 68°F (20°C)
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 2 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Fruit Description:
    The fruits are capsular, erect, and dehiscent. They have numerous black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Flower Shape:
    Flower Petals:
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are lightly scented, nodding, bell-shaped, white flowers with spotted green tips. The inflorescences are umbellate with 3 to 6 blooms, and each bloom has 6 tepals. The blooms are on top of a hollow scape that is 12 to 15 inches long. The bloom time is dependent on the species.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Leaf Type:
    Leaf Shape:
    Hairs Present:
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves are erect, grass-like, dark green, and measure 12 inches long and 1 inch wide. The blade is linear and the base is sheath-like. They grow in a vase-shaped clump.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Stem Description:
    The scape is hollow and stout.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Poison Symptoms:
    Ingestion of the leaves or bulbs will cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, seizures, shock, and potentially lethal.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    alkaloids Lycorine and galantamine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Poison Part: