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Snowdrop - a harbinger of warmth
19 April 2021

Nature gives us a spring mood.  This is the chirping of birds, the warm rays of the sun and, of course, snowdrops.  On April 19, in many countries of the world, in particular in Ukraine, the Day of the Snowdrop is celebrated.  The annual spring festival has its origins in England, where it was established in 1984.

Snowdrops are quite popular flowers both in England and in Central and Southern Europe, in Asia Minor, in the Caucasus, etc.  They were known as early as the first millennium AD, but became widespread in the 19th century.  Then they began to grow in large quantities.  Depending on the climate and species characteristics, snowdrops bloom from January to April.

Snowdrops of the genus Galantus are herbaceous plants of the Amaryllis family, perennials.  Today, there are about 18 known species of snowdrop and two natural Galanthus hybrids.  The most common species is the snow-white snowdrop Galanthus nivalis; it also grows in the right-bank Ukraine at the edges of deciduous forests among bushes and in open areas.  This plant is quite hygrophilous, therefore it is practically absent in the east of Ukraine.  In particular, in Kharkiv region, it is not in the wild!  The stem of a snowdrop grows to about 12 cm, and its single flowers reach up to 3 cm in diameter.  One of the tallest species of snowdrops with a rather large flower and curved leaf edges is the folded snowdrop Galanthus plicatus.  It grows in the mountain forests of Crimea, there is an isolated outbreak in Cherkasy region.  Its peduncle grows up to 25 cm, on which there is a single fragrant flower 25 - 30 mm long and up to 40 mm in diameter.

Every year there are fewer Galanthuses.  Most of the species are already listed in the Red Book.  A beautiful spring flower attracts us with its delicate flowering and I really want to pick it.  But each plucked snowdrop is a damaged bulb, from which a flower will no longer grow next year.  The bulb gains its strength through the stem and leaves, they give it energy through the air and sun.  Without a flower, the process is disrupted.