Spotlight on... Snowdrops


Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) are perennial flowering plants native to large parts of Europe. The name Galanthus is from the Greek, meaning ‘milk flower’, and the species name nivalis means ‘of the snow’. A sure sign that Spring is on its way and one of the first bulbs of the year to bloom, Snowdrops can be found in many woodlands, churchyards, parks and gardens. This early flowering, which carpets the ground from January to April, is aided by hardened leaf tips that can push through frozen soil.  Although, thought to be a result of changing climate, they are increasingly been spotted flowering as early as December and even November! As they flower so early in the year, pollinating insects are scarce, so these little drops of snow spread mainly through bulb division. However, they may still be visited by bees and other insects on a particularly warm day.

Where can you find Snowdrops?

According to our database, snowdrop can be found throughout Oxfordshire and Berkshire. However, our database only includes information which people have provided to us (and we have collected), so a lack of records doesn’t mean that snowdrops aren’t present in the area. All it means is that no-one has told TVERC they’ve spotted them… yet!

Have you seen any Snowdrops?

If you spot any wildlife when you’re out and about, share your records with TVERC via our website By letting TVERC know what you have seen you will help protect and improve your local environment by increasing the quality and quantity of data we hold. Photographs are always helpful too, as we keep an image gallery of species found in Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Absence records are also very useful, so also let us know if you’ve been out and haven’t seen anything!

Your records can inform a variety of exciting biodiversity projects and help people make informed decisions about how to develop and manage land sustainably. We are a ‘not for profit’ organisation so rely on valuable help from skilled volunteers to improve our database.

Identification help

Snowdrops are usually form clumps. Snowdrop display nodding, bell shaped white flowers. Before flowering you might see sharp pointed tips of the smooth and dull grey-green leaves breaking through the surface of the soil.

Find out more…

Where should we direct our spotlight next?

If you are a recorder, a local recording group or just have an interest in a species, send us your suggestion for a species, along with some facts and a photo (if possible) to