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Glory-of-the-Snow Picture

Chionodoxa: A Scilla-Like Plant


Glory-of-the-snow is a spring bulb plant, as was true of an earlier entry: hyacinths....
Photo shows Chionodoxa, a bulb with pink flowers. Chionodoxa is commonly called

Picture of a Pink Giant glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa).

David Beaulieu

The botanical name for glory-of-the-snow is Chionodoxa, which is based on two Greek words: chion (snow) and doxa (glory). There are blue, white and pink varieties of this bulb plant. I grow a type with pink flowers, named "Pink Giant," which, despite its name, attains a height of only 4-5 inches.

This is one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, just a bit after:

Thus the common name, which, like "snowdrops," is indicative of the precociousness of its blooming period. Glory-of-the-snow is a plant very similar to Scilla siberica, but its flowers appear about a week before those on the latter (in my landscaping, at least).

You can grow glory-of-the-snow in planting zones 4-9 in an area that receives good sunlight in spring (and that includes underneath deciduous trees, since they're leaves won't be out for some time yet when Chionodoxa emerges). Make sure the location has good drainage. Leaves will die back in summer as Chionodoxa slips into dormancy.

The first indication of life in spring will be the sword-like leaves pushing up through the soil. Soon, the flower stalk of glory-of-the-snow will appear, with 4 or so unopened, pink flowers tightly hugging the stalk. As the weather warms, those unopened blooms will start peeling off of the stalk, one by one, eventually unfurling to reveal the very light-pink floral color that characterizes Pink Giant.

A nice bonus with glory-of-the-snow is that the flowers remain open on cloudy days, bestowing much-needed cheer. That's not true of all spring-flowering bulb plants. My crocus, for example, close up shop at the first sign of cloud cover.

As with all such small spring flowers, plant glory-of-the-snow en masse for optimal visual impact. Chionodoxa can work well in rock gardens.

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