Galanthus - Giant.

John Grimshaw
Wed, 29 Feb 2012 00:26:26 PST
What must also be remembered about snowdrops is that their foliage continues 
to grow and expand greatly after flowering finishes, making in many cases a 
very substantial tuft of foliage that can actually seem rather coarse -  but 
in some cases is rather ornamental (think narrow-leaved Hosta). This massive 
leaf expansion is overlooked by proponents of moving snowdrops while in 
growth - the damaged roots have to attempt to support the foliage and 
usually can't, with the result that the bulb goes dormant early and is 
rather smaller than it should be.

While tending to think that size is not necessarily a good thing in a 
snowdrop, a proportionately large flower on a large plant can make for a 
spectacular sight. Unfortunately, many tall clones of G. elwesii have 
disproportionately small flowers that make the plant disappointing.

I've just measured a flower or two of the clone 'Ione Hecker' (one of the 
Mighty Atom clan) outside my door; they are 45 mm long, on long pedicels and 
are a fine sight on a plant no more than 22 cm tall. G. elwesii 'Big Boy' 
nearby is a comparatively disappointing 39 mm, but again it is a rather 
short plant so the flowers show well. To illustrate the size of these 
flowers, standard G. nivalis measures 25-30 mm, and 'S. Arnott' 28 mm long. 
(Measurements are the outer perianth segment length, from junction with the 
ovary to the apex, all on fully developed flowers - snowdrop flower shape 
and size changes considerably as flowering progresses.)

John Grimshaw

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Dr. John M. Grimshaw
Sycamore Cottage
GL53 9NP

Tel. 01242 870567

Snowdrops at Colesbourne Park 2012
Every Saturday and Sunday in February and 3-4 March from 1pm
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----- Original Message ----- 

> >OK. Up for the challenge..... one 13.5 and one 14 inches.
>>The flowers weren't open wide yet, so I measured the length of petals
>>on one of them:  1.5 inches.
>>Diane Whitehead
> Dear Diane and others,
> You have met the challenge to deny those who claim Snow Drops
> are tiny and insignificant. This size exceeds most if not all Crocus
> and a good many tulips.  > -- 
> Dr. James W. Waddick

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