Leucojum aestivum var. Gravetye GiantTall Summer Snowflake has 5–9 faintly violet-scented flowers per stem, evoking giant lilies-of-the-valley. Also called Lodden Lily. Pure white bells with scalloped edges and green spots resemble Snowdrops, but the flowers are twice as big and bloom a month later, and the plant is three times as tall.
Blooms for several weeks, and will spread in a damp—but not wet—location. Prefers heavy soil and bright light, but not direct sun. Plant bulbs promptly lest they dry out. Species is native from Ireland to the Caucasus; Gravetye Manor was the home and laboratory of William Robinson, 19th-century botanist and author of The Wild Garden.
18–36" tall. Mid to Late Spring blooms, Z4-9. 12-13cm bulbs.
Gravetye Giant Summer Snowflake
Novelties and Specialties
The Royal General Bulbgrowers Association in Holland (Koninklijke Algemeene Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur, or KAVB) puts this large group of diverse flowers into a boring catch-all category: Miscellaneous Bulbs. The expensive catalogs call them specialty or accent bulbs; some call them minor or dwarf bulbs (even though some of the fritillaries are huge!); Louise Beebe Wilder covered most of them in her 1936 classic Adventures with Hardy Bulbs. Whatever you call them, most are uncommonly sweet, delicate, colorful, and completely welcome in spring.