Galanthus nivalis, the snowdrop or common snowdrop, is the best-known and most widespread of the 20 species in its genus, Galanthus. Snowdrops are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalized.
The generic name Galanthus, derived from the Greek gala [milk] and anthos [flower]. The epithet “nivalis” means “of the snow”, referring either to the snow-like flower or the plant’s early flowering.
Galanthus nivalis is widely grown in gardens, particularly in northern Europe, and is widely naturalized in woodlands in the regions where it is grown. It is, however, native to a large area of Europe, from Spain in the west, eastwards to the Ukraine.