Dainty Leucojum

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

I would appreciate help in identifying this bloom—Leucojum vernal (spring snowflake) or Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)? I have not been able to figure out what characteristics to focus on to distinguish between the two.

[Update Mar 12, 2016:  Thanks to my helpful readers for identifying this as Leucojum aestivum.]

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

Although it will be 80°F. today, it is not summer yet, but in my records I have these labelled L. aestivum (summer snowflake). They are pass-alongs from Sisters’ Garden so it must have been a guess.

They were planted in the green March 21, 2014 and bloomed April 30, 2014. Last year they flowered by March 30. So here they are in 2016 three weeks earlier, closer to spring than summer.

Leucojum (snowflake)

Leucojum (snowflake)

Thanks for your help.

21 thoughts on “Dainty Leucojum

  1. johnvic8

    I have some that were given to my grandmother by her grandmother. When they bloom, i’ll publish a photo. I have always thought they were L. aestivum.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Christina. The first year this flower bloomed I mislabelled it as a snowdrop, not really familiar with them. Fortunately Pauline helped me recognize it was different. I think it’s lovely too.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Liz. These are about 10 inches tall, not even close to 2-3 feet. But it seems to me my sisters’ were larger, taller plants. Could it be they need more years to mature? Only a couple are in flower so far. One has a second bud on the same stalk.

      Reply
      1. Chloris

        Looking at it again I’ m almost sure that it is Leucojum aestivum. The Summer Snowflake almost always blooms in winter here whereas the Spring Snowflake is a bit later. Leucojum vernum almost never has 2 flowers on one scape. Also, the flowers on yours don’ t look as rounded as the ones of Lecojum vernum.

      2. pbmgarden Post author

        Very helpful. Thanks so much. Leucojum aestivum seems to be the consensus. Though not very common around here, maybe I can find some of each growing this year in a nursery or public garden. Would love to see them side-by-side to compare. Have a great day!

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hey Julie, thanks for going to that trouble. I really appreciate it and I bookmarked the link. It doesn’t appear the bloom time coincides definitively with the common name. Makes me wonder all the more.

      Reply
  2. Pauline

    It looks like L. aetivum, I have both here and they are so different. To start with , my L aestivum always flowers before L. vernum, so my summer one is always in flower before my spring one! My L. vernum is the same height as the snowdrops and has broad leaves, my L. aestivum has long narrow leaves and is 4 times the height of L.vernum. it also has up to 8 flowers on the same stalk.
    I hope this helps.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks so much Pauline for this information. My snowflakes are about 8-11 inches tall, but it seemed to me (I’ll have to check) that my sisters’ plants were taller–not 4 times taller though. Only two of my plants are blooming so far. One has one flower and the other has one in bloom with another bud visible. I should record some measurements. Thanks for your help.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Sure! You want the New England branch or the entire country? It’s attractiveness is the only thing we seem to be able to agree on. It was a great surprise to find it this morning.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for sharing this Brian. I’m still uncertain. My snowflakes are about 8-11 inches tall. Only two of my plants are blooming so far. One has one flower and the other has one in bloom with another bud visible. I should record some measurements.

      Reply
  3. Cathy

    Hi Susie. I am pretty sure this is the Summer Snowflake. As already said in other comments, the summer snowflake flowers early in some climates and has several flowers on each stem. The spring snowflake has shorter stems with just one flower per stem and a definite yellowish tinge to the markings. I have both, and I am sure when seen together the differences are clear. But my spring ones are almost over and the summer ones don’t flower till later in my garden. I used spring snowflakes in my test tube vase (sadly with no close up) here: https://wordsandherbs.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/in-a-vase-on-monday-bling/

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks for the info Cathy and the link back to you vase (which I loved). I can see the color difference, and the bloom on yours does look rounder (something Chloris mentioned). I’m going with Summer Snowflake. Interesting that yours bloom in the “proper” sequence of spring, then summer. Seeing mine at this time of year is what made me wonder if I had the name confused.

      Reply

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