Galanthus peshmenii

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Product: Galanthus peshmenii
Retailer: Evolution Plants

Amaryllidaceae

Most snowdrops flower in spring, as the snow recedes from their natural habitats. A few, however, are adapted to flower in late autumn, before winter closes in, often before they have produced leaves. The best known of these is Galanthus reginae-olgae but G. pershmenii, a recently described species, apparently closely related to G. elwesii, flowers earlier and ushers in the snowdrop season for me. However long I grow it, the first flowers, appearing in October, always cause a double take until I remember what I’m looking at.

Considering that it is native to coastal southern Turkey and the adjacent islands, you’d have been forgiven for guessing that it isn’t hardy but that’s not the case. It has survived -10°C (14F) here and worse than that in friends’ gardens. In the wild it grows in pockets of soil in limestone and enjoys perfect drainage. The key to growing it well outdoors is to mimic those conditions. It does well in a pot – much better than most Galanthus species – and, cultivated in a cold glasshouse, its flowers can be appreciated more easily at an often bleak time of year.

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