The snowdrop is often heralded as the first sign of spring. These small white flowers appear from January through to March, and are often found poking through snow in small clumps. Although they look delicate, snowdrops are hardy plants. They contain antifreeze proteins, which protect them against damage from frosts and snow.
Snowdrops may not be a native of the UK, as they were not recorded in the wild until the 18th century, but they have now naturalised throughout the country, and are a common site in various green spaces. There are over 20 species of snowdrops, and many hybrid species.
The latin name of the common snowdrop is Galanthus Nivalis, which means “milk flower of the snow”. The compound Galantamine was originally found in snowdrops, and has been used in modern dementia treatments.