The lovely, white snowdrop with it's tiny pearl-like buds is one of the first flowers to appear in the spring. Sometimes they may not even wait for the snow to melt before emerging from their winter sleep! Pushing right up through the snow, they are a welcome assurance that the brighter days of spring are on their way.
Interesting Tidbits about this Flower:
Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) earned their name from the combination of two words. Galanthus, from the ancient Greek, means milk white flower (A Snowdrop looks like three drops of milk hanging from a stem). The Latin word nivalis means, resembling snow.
Snowdrops are one of the few flowers that only come in one color – white. This is probably why the snowdrop symbolizes purity, the traditional color meaning of white flowers.
Galanthamine, an alkaloid found in the snowdrop flower, is currently approved for the treatment of Alzheimer’s in several countries. It may be effective in treating diseases of the nervous system and is being studied for its effectiveness in treating HIV.
With 2,500 named varieties, enthusiastic collectors of snowdrops are known as Galanthophiles.
Symbolism of the Snowdrop Flower
The snowdrop flower’s message is typically positive, signifying hope, rebirth and a bright future. Of the many legends about how this flower came to be, these two are my favorite:
Garden of Eden: According to legend, Eve was distraught after God cast her out of the Garden of Eden. God sent forth continuous snow and the earth was cold and barren. As Eve sat weeping, an angel appeared to comfort her. The angel caught a snowflake and breathed upon it. The snowflake fluttered to the earth and gave birth to the snowdrop. This delicate bloom came to symbolize hope and rebirth.
German Legend: When God created snow, he gave it the task of visiting the flowers of the earth to gather colors. All the flowers refused, until the snow visited the gentle snowdrop. Seeing that the snowdrop was a kind and generous soul, the snow decided to make a deal. In exchange for her color, the snow agreed to allow the snowdrop to bloom first every spring. The delicate snowdrop agreed and cheerfully blooms amid the snow each spring.
SNOWDROP by Soul Full Sanctuary Photography (Olbrich Botanical Gardens - Madison, WI)
"How amazing to see you Ahead of your hour Using your strength To reveal a small flower.
Like a pure white pearl Amid emerald blades Your head peeps through Winter’s harsh shades.
A courageous act Pushing through frozen earth To show me your beauty, To reveal your true worth.
Stand tall and proud, Delight me with your charm; For the merest sight of you Makes my heart calm."
~ Paul Holmes, To an Early Snowdrop
SPRING RENEWAL by Soul Full Sanctuary Photography
(Olbrich Botanical Gardens - Madison, WI)
"I wish I could be buried under layers of snow,
and let go and cleanse of all the mud that I've crawled through,