Snowdrops are the first bulbs to bloom in the spring. The above photo is a snowdrop belonging to the Galanthus nivalis Sandersii group, shown by the marks on inner segments are yellow instead of green.

All Galanthus species have bulbs, erect flowering stalks and linear leaves. The common snowdrop or Galanthus nivalis grows to 15cm tall and flowering injanuary or February.  The white flower has 6 petals, the outer three segments being larger and more convex than the inner series.

Snowdrops should not be confused with their relatives Snowflakes, Leucojum species; leucojums are much larger and flower in spring (or early summer, depending on the species), with all six petals in the flower the same size, though it should be noted that some “poculiform” (slipper-shaped) Galanthus can have inner segments similar in length to the outer ones.