A common plant, but lovely none-the-less, Giant Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) is one of the most beautiful, persistent harbingers of spring. Its distinctive white flowers hang down from a drooping stem, often popping out of a light covering of snow. A native to Turkey, Galanthus elwesii was introduced to England in 1874 by Sir Henry Elwes; the British have been gaga over Galanthus ever since (the technical term is ‘Galanthophile’). Galanthus have been widely propagated since their introduction and many cultivars exist, some of them quite odd and wonderful. A relatively complete listing of cultivars (as of its publication) can be found in, “Snowdrops: A Monograph of Cultivated Galanthus,” by Matt Bishop. Galanthus are excellent naturalizers, as well as hybridizing and cross pollinating freely, so why not buy a few different kinds, plant them under some deciduous trees and see what happens? You could develop the next hot snowdrop!