Description and features of snowdrops
Snowdrop flowers - unpretentious harbingers of spring. In early spring, when I had not yet had time to get off, bored during the winter, snow, in the mountains and foothills, on the forest lawns from under the snow, in barely thawed thawed patches, a snow-white, blue or purple miracle appears - early flowers snowdrops.
They usually grow in large glades, lit by the gentle rays of the cool, but gentle first spring sun. They amaze with their amazing fragile helplessness and, at the same time, with endless unpretentious endurance, radiating attractive aroma, not very strong, but extremely pleasant.
Herald of spring and a symbol of hope for the long-awaited arrival of heat - snowdrop flower. Description Plants should begin with clarification: this miracle is usually born in March or April.
Soon after such a manifestation to the world, its bud rushes to the sun, over time forced to bow down, appearing as if suspended from a fancifully curved pedicel.
Snowdrop flowers in the photo
The form snowdrops flowers resembles a bell. Unbroken bud of the most common type of snow white snowdrop is also similar to a drop of snow, because that is what the plant is called by the British.
About spring flowers snowdropswhich have become the personification of the awakening of nature, there are many beautiful legends. According to one of them, Eve, expelled from paradise to the cold snow-covered earth, was very cold from the habit.
And in order to at least a little to please her, several fancy snowflakes turned into first flowers snowdrops, embodying the anticipation of future earthly joys.
A snow white snowdrop is a plant with two linear dark green leaves that appear with peduncles almost simultaneously, reaching a length of only about 10 cm.
A bract consisting of two halves protects the budding bud. On the arrow is usually located one flower with six separate petals.
Three inner ones, with a green top, have a cone-shaped shape and are surrounded by three elliptical, larger petals, which gives the flower a unique elegance.
The vegetation period of the plant is not too long, and flowering lasts from several days to two weeks. Flowers disappear, ceasing to please the eye, along with the disappearance of the last snow, when winter cover finally comes off the ground in order to give way to green and bright multi-colored summer along with nature.
Being a medicinal plant, flowers snowdrops used for medical purposes. However, this is done with great care, as a beautiful flower can become extremely dangerous.
It contains alkaloids and toxic substances that can cause poisoning. But all of them in small doses with skillful use give people the strength to get rid of many diseases, being components of a variety of drugs.
Planting and reproduction of snowdrops
As a rule in nature snowdrops – forest flowers. However, they can be found anywhere, but they just love the moist nutrient soil.
After the end of their flowering time of seed formation. They ripen in a greenish-yellow, rounded fleshy box with three compartments, have a spherical shape and black color.
"Box" in which snowdrop seeds are formed
By this time, spring nature is already finally awakening, and many small insects develop vigorous activity. Among them are ants, eager to feast on juicy appendage, which have grains of snow-white snowdrop.
Thus, the little hard workers contribute to the spread of seeds, dragging them, along them dug, numerous underground passages.
Shortly thereafter, the upper part of the plant dies completely. All that remains is the onion, which, experiencing a long harsh winter under the ground, next spring is able to give life to one new flower, once again able to please the eyes of others.
In the fall, the bulb gives new roots and accumulates nutrients inside. And already during this period new flowers and leaves are being formed, which, hatching, practically reach the surface of the earth, spending the winter in such a state that, with the first rays of the sun, overcoming this barrier, appear to the eye at the moment when the snow had not yet descended.
Pictured snowdrop bulbs
Snowdrop has been considered an early spring ornamental plant for several centuries. Known and distributed also snowdrop flower. But he rejoices in his flowering only six or seven years after sowing.
Growing flowers, gardeners should take into account that this representative of the flora used to grow under the canopy of trees, adoring penumbra, and in open spaces it is poorly acclimatized.
But in general, the plant is completely unpretentious, resistant to temperature changes and frost. However, it prefers loose soil rich in fertilizers. If it lands in clay soil, it is better to add some sand there.
Bulbs are usually planted at a depth corresponding to their double size. But even if this rule is not respected, an unpretentious plant helps itself.
When deep planting forms another onion, which grows on top of the previous one for the best achievement of the soil surface sprouts. With a small depth of planting the bulb is crushed, forming the kids.
It is better to purchase bulbs at the end of summer with the intention to plant them in the fall. They should be firm to the touch without rot and damage. When storing the bulbs, do not hold them in the open air, but pour them with sawdust and fold them into cotton bags.
When planting, the plant must be fed with nitrogen-rich fertilizers rich in phosphorus and potassium in order to avoid excessive leaf growth. During the dry spring snowdrops require watering, but after flowering it is no longer needed.
Types of snowdrops
What flowers snowdrops only does not exist in the world. In total, the species of the plant, bearing the elegant sonorous botanical name “galantus” and belonging to the Amaryllis family, is about eighteen.
For example, the snow-white snowdrop already mentioned, rightly considered the most famous of all the varieties of these flowers, mainly grows in Central Europe.
In the Caucasus, in the meadows, limestone cliffs and beech forests in early spring it is possible to observe the flowering of the Alpine and Caucasian varieties, as well as the type of snowdrops, named after the forester Bortkiewicz. Mentioned plants, as a rule, are not high, and reach a length of not more than 7 cm.
The Byzantine snowdrop, common on the coast of the Bosphorus, where it grows in large numbers among shrubs, differs from previous species in that it is able to please with its flowering in winter and autumn.
The Cilician variety and Elves snowdrop are found in the mountains of Asia Minor and in southern Europe. The latter is distinguished by its tallness (the length of its peduncles can reach 23 cm), has large spherical flowers, admiring the aroma and early flowering.
In the late autumn on the island of Corfu and in Sicily, the Corf variety is pleasing to the eye. Foster's snowdrop is common in Lebanon and is very similar to the broadleaf Caucasian snowdrop. The Greek variety adorns the landscapes not only of this country, but also of Romania and Bulgaria.
Exist flowers like snowdropstherefore, many are often confused. As a rule, these plants belong to the same family. One of such representatives of the flora is white flowers, blooming not only in early spring, but much later. It is also a bulbous plant, but its stalks reach a length of about 25 cm.
The number of snowdrops and protection from extermination
Flowers that appear first in nature after a long winter can not but be attractive and popular. It is for this reason that snowdrops are the victims of ruthless extermination.
Uncontained lovers of nature thoughtlessly tear them away, making many bouquets out of flowers. Moreover, the spring lawns are mowed up by enterprising merchants who are trying to make such a miracle of nature a source of profit, using the natural desire of many buy flowers snowdrops.
But not only for these reasons, this plant is found in its natural environment less and less. Another factor is the merciless digging of bulbs by enthusiastic gardeners.
Affects the number of flowers and the reduction of forest area, damage to forest litter containing seeds and bulbs of plants, as well as other environmental problems.
Currently Red book snowdrops characterizes as a rare species with assignment to the plant of the third category. This means that wonderful colors are not threatened with complete extinction, but under adverse conditions, this threat still exists.
For the protection of rare plants are reserves and reserves. There are strict restrictions on the tearing and sale of snowdrop flowers.
Photo of white snowdrops
Admire the carpet of white inflorescences can be in the picture, but it is much more pleasant to grow such plants in the garden. To do this, fit the seeds collected personally, or bulbs purchased in a specialty store.Figure 7. Photos of white spring flowers
The value of plants is preserved only if they are in a flower bed. If you pick these flowers, the bouquet will last no longer than a few days, whereas in the garden they can please you for a month.