What is Glory-Of-The-Snow?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

As winter fades, glory-of-the-snow perennials pop up through the ground and mark the beginning of spring. These types of flowers are small, bulbous, and violet-blue in color. Scientifically known as Chionodoxa luciliae, the flowers are commonly used in rock gardens, borders, and in conjunction with other small bulbs.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Glory-of-the-snow is not a large flower, only growing up to 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) in height. Though most sport bright violet flowers, petals may also be white or pink with a center splash of white. Their stalks are thin, and their leaves are straight and grass-like. Most glory-of-the-snow flowers only grow two leaves, though stems may produce up to three flowers. The center of each flower features a cluster of flattened stamens.

Flowers of the glory-of-the-snow variety are star-shaped. The low-growing flower self-seeds, and can spread quickly after being planted. Once the flowers bloom in early spring, they remain open for two weeks or more. Some popular types of glory-of-the-snow include the rosea, alba, and pink giant. Unlike other species of this flower, these favorites feature white or pink blossoms.

Bulbs should be buried 3 inches (7 centimeters) deep during planting. Plants should be spaced 1 to 3 inches (2 to 7 centimeters) apart for optimal growth and spreading. The plants will grow in nearly any sunlight setting, thriving in both shaded areas as well as full sun. In warmer areas, the plants should be kept in partial shade to prevent them from fading. The popular small blossoms are considered very easy to care for, and require little to no maintenance in most areas.

Though many people enjoy these harbingers of spring, some consider them to be a nuisance, as they can become invasive against other species. Hardy plants, glory-of-the-snow are difficult to eliminate from a garden. Should a person wish to get rid of the flowers, the best way is to dig up all of the bulbs present in the garden. Outside cultivated gardens, these flowers can be found throughout mountain ranges and in forests.

These spring bloomers are native to Crete, Cyprus, and southwest Asia. The Mediterranean flowers are members of the lily family. The flowers were named after their ability to sprout through the snow in some areas. In climates that do not receive cold winter weather, the plants do not flourish as well, as they require a full winter to rest prior to blooming in the spring.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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