COMMON NAME: glory of the snow
SPECIES, HYBRIDS, CULTIVARS,
C. luciliae ‘Alba’-white
C. l. ‘Gigantea’-large blue flowers, 2 inches across
C. sardensis-small, intensely blue flowers.
BLOOMS: early spring
DESCRIPTION: Beautiful star-shaped flowers in blue or white bloom very early in spring, sometimes even before snow is gone. Used in mass plantings, these plants can be spectacularly beautiful. Their neat, compact growing habit makes them good for growing in rock gardens.
CULTIVATION: Bulbs of glory of the snow should be planted in early fall, 2 to 3 inches deep, in full sun or partial shade. Plants may need dividing occasionally. It will self-sow fairly readily.
The genus name has been translated exactly to give us the common name. Chion means “snow,” and doxa means “glory.” Its early blooms often come while there is still snow on the ground. The species was named for Lucile Boissier, wife of a botanist from Geneva, Edmond Boissier. Mrs. Boissier died while accompanying her husband on a plant exploration trip to Spain in 1849.
The bright blue of the blossoms provides a welcome spot of color in a late winter floral arrangement.
Discovered in 1842, glory of the snow was found growing at a height of 7,000 feet in mountain meadows of Turkey. Discoverers called it the “most sumptuous display of floral beauty.” A native of Crete and Asia Minor, it was introduced for cultivation in 1877.