2019 Snowdrop Catalogue

All the snowdrops in the 2019 catalogue are sold out.  The catalogue remains on the website for informational purposes only.   If you would like to get an email notification when the 2020 catalogue is posted in December 2019, please send your full name and cell number (for back up contact use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com and let us know if you are local or mail order.

Clockwise from upper left: ‘Godfrey Owen’, ‘Trym’, ‘Lapwing’, ‘Lady Elphinstone’, ‘Art Noveau’, ‘Hill Poe’, ‘Primrose Warburg’

2019 Snowdrop Catalogue: Calling all Galanthophiles

(That’s a British word for gardeners obsessed with snowdrops/Galanthus)

Carolyn’s Shade Garden’s has been selling snowdrops for over 25 years, transferring our passion for this fascinating plant to more customers through out the US every year. We sell our snowdrops in the late winter as growing plants because that is the best way to insure vigorous and healthy snowdrops in our climate. You will also be able to enjoy (and identify) the flowers immediately as they will be mature and, with only a few exceptions, blooming when you receive them.

Snowdrops are available mail order and for pick up at the nursery.  Prices are for one plant per pot unless indicated, and quantities are limitedBefore ordering, please check this on line catalogue, which will be adjusted regularly to indicate current availability, to make sure the snowdrop you want isn’t marked sold out.

To Order for Pick Up at our Nursery: Please send an email to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com (click on the email address) with the plant names, quantities, your name, and cell number. Supplies are limited so order early. Within 24 to 48 hours, you will receive an email confirming your order and amount owed to be paid by check.  Another email in late February or early March will let you know when the plants are available for pick up.  Any snowdrops purchased can be planted in your garden immediately or enjoyed in a pot until the weather warms in the spring. We offer no guarantee other than that each plant is true to name and healthy when it leaves here.

To Order for Mail Order:   There is a $50 minimum and a $15 charge will be added for packing and shipping your plants USPS priority mail. Please send an email to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com (click on the email address) specifying mail order and including the plant names, quantities, your name, cell number, and mailing address. Supplies are limited so order early. Within 24 to 48 hours, you will receive an email confirming your order and amount owed to be paid by check.  Another email in late February or early March will let you know when the plants are ready for shipment.  Snowdrops will be shipped with all soil removed and can be planted in your garden immediately or enjoyed in a pot until the weather warms in the spring.  We offer no guarantee other than that each plant is true to name and healthy when it leaves here.

General Information:  Common snowdrops, Galanthus nivalis, are naturalized throughout my garden, and I still can’t have enough. The wonderfully honey-scented, white flowers appear by the thousands from February through March and are my personal signal that winter is ending. By adding more unusual varieties, I have extended my snowdrop bloom season from fall through winter into spring.

Snowdrops are the best plants for consistent winter interest in the garden. A great companion plant for hellebores, arum, early bulbs, and hardy cyclamen, snowdrops grow in part shade to full deciduous shade and are usually not picky about soil. They are deer resistant and summer dormant. All varieties offered do well in the Delaware Valley, zones 6 and 7; gardeners outside that area should do their own research into hardiness.

Snowdrops are desirable plants for three reasons: their bloom time, ornamental characteristics, and their fascinating histories. For more on this, read the feature article I wrote for the Hardy Plant Society Newsletter called “Confessions of a Galanthophile” by clicking here. I have written many other articles on snowdrops, and you can find links to most of them by clicking hereRead my cover article on snowdrops in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Fine Gardening magazine by clicking here

Much of the historical information in the descriptions below comes from Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus by Matt Bishop, Aaron Davis, and John Grimshaw (Griffin Press 2006) (referred to as Snowdrops below).

For additional information and more photographs of the new snowdrops offered below, read my blog posts by clicking here and here.

RHS AGM signifies a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, given to only 28 snowdrops out of the over 2,500 in cultivation.

UK Popularity List refers to an Avon Bulbs survey of British galanthophiles resulting in a list of their all-time 25 favorite snowdrops.

Photos appear above the descriptions.

The following snowdrops are sold out:


‘Armine’ (classic single snowdrop): a tall, easy-to-grow, hybrid snowdrop with large, well-proportioned flowers; it has a beautiful mark on the inner segment (snowdrops petals are called segments), which is clearly visible even when the flowers are not fully open; named in the late 1950s for the daughter of Brigadier and Mrs. Matthias, the owners of the famous (at least among galanthophiles) Giant Snowdrop Company in Gloucestershire;  $39    Sold Out

‘Art Noveau’ (unique single snowdrop, G. nivalis): confronted recently with hundreds of varieties of snowdrops, all in bloom, I gravitated immediately to the captivating elegance of ‘Art Noveau’; an artistically curved spathe, like a shepherd’s crook, tops the long, slender flower with bold markings inside and out; the outer segments are pointed and splashed with pale green, while the inners are almost as long as the outers and sport a darker green, heart-shaped mark; given to Avon Bulbs by a famous garden in Normandy, France;  $66    Sold Out


‘Barnes’ (fall-blooming snowdrop, G. elwesii (Hiemalis Group)): lovely, fall-flowering cultivar of the giant snowdrop with well-formed outer segments and a heart-shaped mark on the inners; considered by many to be the earliest blooming and best of the Hiemalis Group; the name ‘Barnes’ originates from E.P. Barnes, a surgeon in Northampton, who selected an early-flowering form of G. elwesii and sent it to Oliver Wyatt, possibly in 1928; after 1973, a group of snowdrops labeled ‘Barnes’ was discovered at Wyatt’s home in Suffolk; RHS AGM;  $39    Sold Out 

. ‘Blewbury Tart’ (unique double snowdrop, G. nivalis): outstanding and distinctive outward-facing double snowdrop with three narrow outer segments clasping the inner dark green tart-like rosette; discovered by well known British horticulturist Alan Street in Blewbury, Oxfordshire; my stock came from the old Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, WA; #25 on UK Popularity List;     $25   Sold Out

Galanthus nivalis 'Blonde Inge'‘Blonde Inge’ (yellow snowdrop, G. nivalis): this is the first snowdrop to have yellow markings on its inner segments while the ovary (the cap above the petal-like segments) remains green—a very beautiful combination; vigorous snowdrop that grows rapidly to form an impressive clump; mine emerge green and turn yellow with sunlight; found by Nicholas Topp in 1977 in a cemetery near Cologne, Germany, and introduced to the UK in 1993; the name comes from the lyrics of a German foxtrot;   $45   Sold Out


‘Diggory’ (unique single snowdrop, G. plicatus): Though rare, this is a snowdrop I would recognize anywhere for its squared-off pear-shaped flowers, heavily quilted texture, and large green inner mark visible even when the flower is closed; ‘Diggory’s’ unique look is further enhanced by the pleated leaves characteristic of a Crimean snowdrop, G. plicatus; found in 1993 in a naturalized population of Crimean snowdrops in Norfolk, England; #4 on UK Popularity List;   $69    Sold Out
.G. elwesii ex Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (species snowdrop): early-blooming, beautifully scented, large white flowers with the inner segments (petals) boldly marked with green in a variety of configurations (single and double marks) and broad, blue-gray leaves; multiplies well, tolerates hotter and drier locations; naturalized throughout Winterthur; named for Victorian plant collector Henry John Elwes (1846-1922); stock from my own naturalized plantings; RHS AGM;   $18   Sold Out

.‘Faringdon Double’ (double snowdrop): early-blooming snowdrops really make a statement, and ‘Faringdon Double’ is one of the earliest in my garden and definitely the earliest double; big, well-formed flowers on vigorous and easy-to-grow plants; the outer segments are large and rounded, and the inner segments are very regular with a broad heart-shaped mark; discovered growing in a churchyard in 1988 in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, by British snowdrop collectors David and Ruby Baker;  $49   Sold Out


‘Flore Pleno’ ex Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (double snowdrop, G. nivalis): lovely double white flowers with green ruffled centers; very vigorous snowdrop tolerant of many different growing conditions; oldest snowdrop cultivar in existence with records as early as 1703; stock from my own naturalized plantings;  RHS AGM;   $15   Sold Out

‘Fly Fishing’ (unique single snowdrop, G. elwesii):  I can’t think of a snowdrop I enjoy more or one that is more aptly named—the upright scape casts the large and elegant flower out into the breeze on its extra long pedicel attracting wandering galanthophiles like trout; early flowering, sometimes by Christmas (photo 12/27/15), mine often has green tips; easy to establish and multiplies rapidly; discovered by Alan Street only ten years ago at Avon Bulbs;   $59      Sold Out

‘Godfrey Owen’ (unique single snowdrop, G. elwesii): one of my top ten favorites with its rare configuration of six longer outer segments and six shorter inner segments; inner markings are somewhat variable with two small dots at the apex sometimes joined to two smaller dots at the base; an elegant snowdrop that performs well in the garden while standing out from the crowd without a label; discovered in Shrewsbury around 1996 in a population of typical G. elwesii, the giant snowdrop, by renowned English galanthophile Margaret Owen and named for her husband; RHS AGM;  $69   Sold Out

.‘Green Brush’ (green-tipped snowdrop, G. elwesii): one of the best green-tipped snowdrops with big, bold, substantial flowers on a tall plant—very striking and distinct; the fat outer segments are thick and waxy with strong markings at the apex as though dipped in paint; the inner segments are solid green; selected in the Netherlands by fifth generation bulb breeder Gerald Oud;  $35   Sold Out

.‘Hill Poë’ (double snowdrop):Snowdrops calls this late-flowering, neatly formed double “one of the finest and a favorite with many galanthophiles”; the solid flower has a tightly packed inner rosette with five narrow, widely separated outer segments; discovered in 1911 by James Hill Poë at his home in County Tipperary, Ireland, it was first offered for sale in 1964 by the Giant Snowdrop Company;   $39   Sold Out

‘Jonathan’ (unique single snowdrop, G. elwesii): with extra large, globular flowers and broad blue leaves, ‘Jonathan’ captured the attention of visitors to the 2017 RHS Spring Show where this photo was taken;   faint green tips on the outer segments and a handsome two-part mark on the inners, similar to ‘Grumpy’ but more attractive overall; found in 2000 in a North Yorkshire garden by snowdrop author Michael Myers;   $49   Sold Out
.‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’ (double snowdrop): a very dignified and vigorous double snowdrop with an elegant, tightly packed inner rosette and a distinctive mark split into two dots; grown by Lady Beatrix Stanley (1877-1944) at Sibbertoft Manor in Northhamptonshire, England, and named for her in 1981 by Richard Nutt, a prominent British snowdrop expert; RHS AGM, #13 on UK Popularity List;   $29   Sold Out

Galanthus nivalis 'Lady Elphinstone' Cadwalader‘Lady Elphinstone’ (double yellow snowdrop, G. nivalis): The only available double yellow snowdrop, originally found in Cheshire, England, in the 1890s by Sir Graeme Elphinstone and named for his daughter.   Caveat:  When presenting well, this snowdrop is absolutely breathtaking.  However, it can bloom green instead of yellow.  This happens when the plant is moved, so the flowers on the plants you receive may be green but should eventually return to yellow.  If you want a sure thing, this is not the snowdrop for you;   $39     Sold Out
.‘Lapwing’ (unique single snowdrop): the many descriptions of this snowdrop as charming, beloved, excellent, and distinct enticed me to add it to my own collection; it is early-blooming and has a very unusual mark, looking to me like old-fashioned garden shears but often described as an X; praised for increasing steadily in a wide range of conditions; found by Phil Cornish in 1997 near the village of Lapworth, Warwickshire, and his personal favorite of the over 30 he has discovered;  $49  Sold Out


‘Madelaine’ (yellow snowdrop, G. plicatus): a Crimean snowdrop similar in vigor and looks to ‘Wendy’s Gold’; in my garden, it reproduces nicely and the flower is an especially ethereal yellow that glows in the late winter sunlight; introduced in 2002 by Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery in Cambridge;   $75    Sold Out

‘Magnet’ (classic single snowdrop): The descriptions of ‘Magnet’, my favorite classic snowdrop, are a joy to read, and I can see why after having it in my garden. The stems of the large, sweetly scented flowers are long and thin causing them to sway in the slightest breeze and setting ‘Magnet’ apart from all other snowdrops (no magnifying glass needed). Selected in the 1880s, it may have been named ‘Magnet’ after the child’s fishing game with magnets and sticks. Snowdrops says it defines garden-worthiness and is a mainstay of snowdrop collections throughout the world; RHS AGM, #2 on UK Popularity List;    $25   Sold Out


‘Melanie Broughton’ (unique single snowdrop): discovered in 1998 at the famous British snowdrop destination, Anglesey Abbey in Cambridge, by prominent galanthophiles attending the Galanthus Gala, ‘Melanie Broughton’ was immediately selected and propagated for its impressive stature, large, well-proportioned, puckered flowers, wide gray leaves, and solid green inner mark; named after the daughter of Anglesey Abbey’s owner Lord Fairhaven;  $35   Sold Out

.‘Merlin’ (classic single snowdrop): a snowdrop so revered that it earned an Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2012, over 120 years after it was found; after falling in love with it in Charles Cresson’s garden about 20 years ago, I finally added it to my collection last year; beautiful, vigorous, highly-prized classic snowdrop, possibly a hybrid between G. elwesii and G. plicatus; best known and most widely grown snowdrop with completely dark green inner segments; discovered in his garden in 1891 by Victorian plantsman James Allen of Shepton Mallet in Somerset; RHS AGM, #16 on UK Popularity List;  $45    Sold Out
. G. nivalis ex Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (species snowdrop): white flowers with green-tipped inner segments and narrow leaves with a gray center stripe; the easiest snowdrop to grow, it multiplies rapidly and produces the most blooms; cultivated as an ornamental plant since the 16th century; stock is progeny of the vigorous strain that has thrived on my property for over 100 years; RHS AGM, #22 on UK Popularity List;   $15   (5 plants per pot)   Sold Out
.Galanthus 'Ophelia' ‘Ophelia’ (double snowdrop): ‘Ophelia’ is my favorite and the best known snowdrop in the series of doubles created by Heyrick Greatorex; vigorous and early with rounded, tightly double flowers and a very prominent, broad, dark green u-shaped marking at the base of the inner segments; often produces a second flower stem, making it quite long-blooming;    $25   Sold Out


Galanthus 'Potter's Prelude'‘Potter’s Prelude’ (fall-blooming snowdrop, G. elwesii var. monostictus): a free-flowering and vigorous snowdrop with wide recurving blue-green leaves and large flowers similar to the best of the species except that it blooms from November to January; selected in the 1960s by Jack Potter, former Curator of the Scott Arboretum, and registered in 2004 by Charles Cresson; Matt Bishop declared ‘Potter’s Prelude’ the best of its type and will include it in the revised edition of Snowdrops;    $59    Sold Out

Galanthus 'Primrose Warburg'‘Primrose Warburg’ (yellow snowdrop): one of the most beautiful yellow snowdrops with intense yellow markings on the inner segment and ovary (the “cap” above the petal-like segments), much coveted by collectors; originated at South Hayes, the garden of the famous British collector Primrose Warburg, and chosen by her fellow galanthophiles after her death in 1996 as the most suitable snowdrop to bear her name; more vigorous in my garden than very similar ‘Spindlestone Surprise’; RHS AGM;   $75   Sold Out
.‘Puck’ (semi-double snowdrop, G. nivalis): a charming and quirky form of the common snowdrop, with three extra segments arranged over the top of the normal three inner and three outer segments, resulting in a fat, semi-double flower; named for the mischievous fairy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, who seems to have cast his spell on this snowdrop, and found in a woods in Devon;  $35    Sold Out


‘Richard Ayres’ (double snowdrop): eye-catching, very large and full double flower on a tall, vigorous, and easy-to-grow plant; the outer segments vary in number from four to six, and the inner markings are also variable but quite pretty; discovered in 1987 by celebrated plantsman Richard Nutt in the gardens of Anglesey Abbey in Cambridge and named by the UK National Trust, which owns Anglesey Abbey, for the head gardener;  $49    Sold Out


Galanthus Robin Hood‘Robin Hood’ (classic single snowdrop): A much beloved snowdrop, first mentioned by James Allen in 1891, it is tall and upright with a very unique inner marking resembling crossed swords; Snowdrops praises its “beautifully shaped, sparkling flowers…[with] a distinctive poise”; vigorous in my garden; #18 on UK popularity list;   $39   Sold Out

. ‘S. Arnott’ (classic single snowdrop): large rounded, sweetly scented flowers with a heart-shaped green marking; Snowdrops describes ‘S. Arnott’ as the “classic snowdrop….a first-class garden plant with an unquestionable constitution, admired by everyone,” a must have for snowdrop collections; considered the “desert island snowdrop”—the snowdrop that collectors would choose if they were limited to one and named for an early galanthophile, Samuel Arnott (1852-1930); RHS AGM, #1 on UK Popularity List;   $25   Sold Out

.‘Scharlockii’ (green-tipped snowdrop, G. nivalis): a charming and vigorous snowdrop with green tips on its outer segments; notable for the “rabbit ears” (see photo) formed when its spathe (flower bud covering) splits into two prominently upright, leaf-like halves after releasing the flower; discovered in 1818 by Herr Julius Scharlock in Grandenz, Germany, and named in 1868;  $25    Sold Out


‘South Hayes’ (unique single snowdrop): one of the most beautiful and sought after snowdrops for its distinctive pagoda-like shape and very unusual dark green markings, both inside and out; first seen in 1992 in famous galanthophile Primrose Warburg’s garden of the same name and probably a seedling of ‘Trym’; RHS AGM, #11 on UK Popularity List;   $95  Sold Out


‘Sprite’ (virescent snowdrop):  I am always looking for unusual snowdrops to add to my collection and ‘Sprite’ stood out whenever I saw it in England last February; broad, round, bluntly pointed outer segments are painted with five or six distinct green lines with slight shading in between—a beautiful effect; a wide, green band covers 2/3 of the inner segments; introduced about 10 years ago by the discerning horticulturist Alan Street at Avon Bulbs;  $35   Sold Out


‘Standing Tall’ (Christmas-blooming snowdrop, G. elwesii): After 25 years of evaluation, Charles Cresson introduced this outstanding selection from G. elwesii and named it ‘Standing Tall’ to reflect its amazing 12” height, very upright habit, and commanding presence in the garden. But it gets even better, the very large flowers bloom right before Christmas and into January, a downtime for snowdrops, and it stands up to whatever the season brings, lying down in very cold weather and popping right back up as if nothing had happened;   $69    Sold Out


‘Starling’ (double snowdrop): the short stem causes the flower to face outward giving a direct view of its cluster of star-like, dark green inner segments, hence star-ling, meaning young star; the outer segments are long, pointed, and boat-shaped, and the overall effect is lovely; found in the famous copse at Avon Bulbs and may be a cross between G. elwesii and ‘Hill Poe’, one of my favorite doubles;  $35   Sold Out

.‘Tiny Tim’ (G. nivalis): a form of G. nivalis treasured by U.K. galanthophiles; the narrow leaves and elfin stature are quite charming in a clump, which builds up quickly with this vigorous cultivar;  ‘Tiny Tim’ flowers later than most snowdrops further extending the late spring snowdrop season;  $25   Sold Out


‘Trumps’ (unique single snowdrop): A stunning and substantial snowdrop with bright green splashes on the outer segments and an inner heart-shaped mark; treasured for its early bloom time, easy multiplication, and the unique look produced when its outer segments expand horizontally; found by Snowdrops author Matt Bishop in 1999 in the garden of North Green Snowdrops in Beccles, Suffolk; RHS AGM;  $59   Sold Out


‘Trym’ (unique single snowdrop, G. plicatus): sensational in the snowdrop world due to its unique flower structure where the three outer segments have been replaced by three more inner segments; this iconic, pagoda-like look has since been coined inverse poculiform and applied to ‘Trym’s’ many descendants; the outer segments have a large heart-shaped, green mark and are broad, reflexed, and sport the notch in the tip of the segments typical of an inner segment, resulting in a distinctive, striking, and lovely snowdrop; discovered by Jane Gibbs, in Westbury on Trym, Bristol;  #3 on UK popularity list;  $66   Sold Out

. ‘Viridapice’ (green-tipped snowdrop, G. nivalis): white flowers easily distinguished by the strikingly prominent green tips on the outer segments as well as the inner ones, bold and vigorous; originally discovered near a farmhouse in northern Holland prior to 1922; our superior form of ‘Viridapice’ was acquired from the old Heronswood Nursery in Kingston, WA;    $25   Sold Out


‘Wasp’ (unique single snowdrop): this charming and unique snowdrop caused a sensation when it was first introduced in the late 1990s; the name is quite apt as the very long and narrow outer segments stick out at an angle like wings and the striped, tubular inner segments are said to resemble a thorax—‘Wasp’ flies around on its long flower stem in the slightest breeze completing the insect-like effect; discovered by British snowdrop enthusiast Veronica Cross at Sutton Court;  $49   Sold Out


‘Wendy’s Gold’ (yellow snowdrop, G. plicatus): This superb and vigorous snowdrop with large and vivid yellow markings is one of the most sought after cultivars. The beautiful wide pleated leaves with folded margins make a lovely backdrop for the striking flowers. Discovered in 1974 by Bill Clark, Warden of the UK National Trust property Wandlebury Ring near Cambridge, and named for his wife. #5 on UK Popularity List;   $75    Sold Out
.‘White Dream’ (syn. G. nivalis ‘White Dream’): pretty white flowers complimented by a pronounced white stripe on the leaves; similar to the species G. nivalis but later blooming with more prominent flowers and more striking leaves; vigorous, multiplies rapidly;  $17   Sold Out


Galanthus woronowiiG. woronowii ex Carolyn’s Shade Gardens (species snowdrop): late-flowering white blooms with green markings on the inner segments; much prized in the UK for its glossy green leaves that sparkle in the garden; increases well, plants from my own naturalized stock; native to Georgia, Russia, and Turkey and cultivated for more than 130 years; named for Russian botanist Georg Jurii Woronow (1874-1931); RHS AGM;   $17   Sold Out

Instructions for ordering are at the beginning of the catalogue.

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