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Bulb of the Month: Summer Snowflake GRAVETYE GIANT

If you were to cross a snowdrop with a daffodil, you’d probably come close to describing the utterly charming Fravetye Giant (Leucojum aestivum). Being in a genus of its own, Leucojum is a rather unique bulb as there are only two species. The other is Leucojum vernum, known as the Spring Snowflake, a rather confusing name since it tends to flower in the late autumn.

Gravetye Giant is named after the Elizabethan manor Gravetye, the home of William Robinson, father of the herbaceous border who, together with Ernest Markham, introduced many great plants.

The bulb looks exactly like Narcissus. It’s a 60 cm (2′) tall plant with daffodil-like, dark green foliage. The small white flowers hang from arching stems and green spots at the end of each tepal. They bloom towards the end of the daffodil blooming season, like a fair amount of moisture and don’t mind a heavy soil. This makes them ideal subjects for your perennial border where they’ll happily coexist with all your plants.

Make an elegant display from an utterly foolproof, little known bulb that everyone should try.

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