A charming bulbous genus from the high altitudes
of Crete and Asia Minor.
The blooms appear as the snow melts, hence their
The chief species is Chionodoxa luciliae, with star-shaped
six-petalled flowers, three-quarters of an inch
across, of brilliant blue shading to a white centre,
several flowers borne on each stem to a height
of about six inches.
Chionodoxa gigantea has flowers twice the size of the
type, whilst Chionodoxa sardensis has gentian blue flowers,
without the white centre.
Chionodoxa grandiflora has violet flowers, and Chionodoxa nana
white and lilac.
There is also a white form. Planted in the front
of herbaceous borders, in rock gardens and naturalised
in the wild garden in bold drifts, Chionodoxa
give an enchanting effect early in the year.
The bulbs require to be planted in early autumn,
and will succeed in any well-drained soil. They
may be left to establish themselves in large colonies,
provided they are given a light mulch of sifted
manure each autumn.
Propagation is effected by offsets and seed.
The flowering season is in February.
See Also Chionodoxa