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February fairmaids

By Philip_H
National Trust:

Going wild - It’s hard to imagine a British spring without snowdrops, but did you know that they aren’t actually native to the UK? Historians believe they were probably introduced from Europe in the late 15th century and cultivated varieties became popular in Elizabethan gardens, but it wasn’t until the 1770s that they were first recorded growing in the wild.

What's in a name? - Snowdrops’ scientific name is Galanthus, which translates as ‘milk flower’, but over the years they’ve gained other names such as 'February fairmaids' and 'Candlemas bells'. They’re often seen to symbolise purity and hope, but folklore also states that taking a single snowdrop inside will bring ill-fortune, hence another name – ‘death flower’. Alternatively it might just cause your milk to sour and eggs to spoil, which isn’t quite as ominous.

A growing family - There are 20 species of wild snowdrop, of which Galanthus nivalis is the most common. Over the years, green-fingered fans have used these original species to cultivate over 1000 new varieties, the best-named of which has to be Galanthus ‘Heffalump’. Sometimes the snowdrops themselves create new varieties by cross-fertilisation, such as Galanthus ‘Ailwyn’, which was discovered at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire in 1994.

P Grin

Tags: Flowers and plants Snowdrops Galanthus Holderness Wassand Wassand Hall Wassand estate February fairmaids Carpet of snowdrops Snowdrop carpet milk flower

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Comments


NDODS 11 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2019 9:59AM
An interesting narrative supported by a well executed triptych.

Thanks for sharing Philip.
Maiwand 15 3 73 England
16 Mar 2019 11:18AM
Superb Phil.
Ron
16 Mar 2019 12:48PM
Lovely images.
Sylvia
Mollycat Plus
8 21 2 United Kingdom
16 Mar 2019 1:31PM
An outstanding looking set Philip.
Peter.
16 Mar 2019 4:02PM
Beautiful..Lin
taggart Plus
17 47 14 United States
16 Mar 2019 9:17PM
A beautiful set enhanced by your text--telling us a lot about snowdrops!
17 Mar 2019 12:51PM
Superb set, Philip.
I do believe the Snowdrop Galanthus is the Harbinger of Spring, they are such a cheerful flower which nods it’s head in the wind almost saying here I am once more Spring is almost here.

Superb images.

Carole
bliba Plus
16 2 Austria
18 Mar 2019 6:23AM
beautiful presented
18 Mar 2019 3:32PM
Lovely images and a very interesting narrative.

Val
Fefe Plus
10 62 38 United Kingdom
18 Mar 2019 5:43PM
Lovely set!
Diane
Saastad Plus
2 16 15 Norway
5 May 2019 12:40PM
Beautifuly done Philip!

Arne Smile

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