Galanthus ikariae   Green Snowdrop I

Galanthus woronowii Galanthus woronowii

This introduction from the Mediterranean is easy to distinguish from most commonly encountered Galanthus species because the leaves are bright green. In the other commonly introduced species: Galanthus plicatus (Pleated Snowdrop), Galanthus nivalis(Snowdrop) and Galanthus elwesii (Greater Snowdrop) the leaves are glaucous. The problem with identification is the possible confusion with Galanthus woronowii also known as Green Snowdrop. It will usually flower later than the other Galanthus species but this year (2008) the warm February days brought over 20 species of early Spring plants into flower in this reserve. Galanthus woronowii is found in the countryside in southern England mostly with one or two outposts near Inverness but it hasn't been recorded from Wales or Ireland.

This particular plant is an escape from a very old garden as most Snowdrops which aren't Galanthus nivalis must be, but the markings on the tepals in this case are more typical of Galanthis ikariae than Galanthus woronwii. On the other hand according to Professor Stace, Galanthus woronowii is usually how specimens of supposed Galanthus ikariae key out according to New Flora of the British Isles Edition 3 (2010).

So is it Galanthus ikariae which is supposed to be very rare or the plant with which it is often confused Galanthus woronwii ? Having looked at BSBI's Snowdrop identification file I now think it is more likely to be the much rarer Galanthus ikariae but I can't really be sure.

Warley Place, Essex 12th February 2008

Added on 14th Feb 2008, updated 18th Jan 09, updated 31st Mar10, updated 27th May 12, updated 14th Nov 14, updated Feb 5th 15

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