A Snowdrop for Every Occasion

Contributed by Ginny Oakes

On February 5, 2019

It’s Chinese new year and festivities have started to mark the occasion. 2019 is the Year of the Pig and Galanthus nivalis ‘Gloucester Old Spot’ is here to join the celebration.

This variant of our common snowdrop has slender, glaucous leaves, and flowers of good substance with  bluntly pointed outer segments. It’s small in stature with a height of just 13cm. The inner segments have a small spot on either side of a large sinus, hence the name. It was found by well-known galanthophile Phil Cornish at Hatherly Manor, Gloucester, in 1990. Originally, it was distributed as ‘Spot’ but this name had already been used for an extinct clone of G. fosteri so a new name was needed. Phil Cornish provided an alternative name in 2000, commemorating the local breed of pig. Necessity certainly was the mother of invention!

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