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Gunter Waldorf

Over 300 varieties of snowdrop brilliantly photographed in their natural environment, with everything you need to know about their cultivation and propagation

Gardens and Gardening

160 pages
170x170 mm
Add to Cart
Pub. Date:
1st December 2012

Everything you need to know about the cultivation and propagation of snowdrops: tips, tools, and sources of supply Snowdrops: the harbinger of spring, delicate and charismatic. Over 300 varieties of snowdrops are portrayed here for the first time in such abundance – brilliantly photographed in their natural environment. The reader learns everything necessary to cultivate and propagate these bulbs, about collecting them and the right tools of the trade. Indispensible for galanthophiles, the book will spark the interest of beginners and is a beautiful and practical reference work for connoisseurs.


Foreword 6

Snowdrops 9

The Plant 10

Species 10

Flowers 12

Flowering Times 13

Foliage 14

Bulb 15

Origins and distribution 15

Varieties 16

Galanthus alpinus 16

Galanthus angustifolius 16

Galanthus cilicicus 17

Galanthus elwesii 17

Galanthus fosteri 19

Galanthus gracilis 19

Galanthus ikariae 20

Galanthus koenenianus 21

Galanthus krasnovii 22

Galanthuslagodechianus 23

Galanthus nivalis 23

Galanthus peshmenii 24

Galanthus platyphyllus 24

Galanthus plicatus 25

Galanthus reginae-olgae 26

Galanthus rizehensis 26

Galanthus transcaucasicus 27

Galathnus trojanus 27

Galanthus woronowii 27

Emergence of New Varieties 28

Snowdrops in the Garden 33

Pests and Diseases 33

Location 36

Planting 38

Care 44

Propagation 45

Pests and Diseases 46

Collecting 50

What is a Galanthophile? 50

The Pioneers 52

The Love of Money 54

Snowdrop Collectors Past and Present 54

Tools 56

What To Collect 59

Sources of Snowdrops 60

Beg and Borrow 61

Again: The Love of Money 62

Advanced Trading 65

Gallery 65

Varieties 66

New Varieties 150

Sources 157

Collections to Visit 158

Index 159



Neither large in stature nor brightly coloured, snowdrops nevertheless inspire passionate devotion and covetous tendencies in the hearts of many garden lovers. Their small, white flowers, decorated with green markings, emerge at a time of year when flowers are scarce. They put on their biggest show at the end of winter when they – quite literally – bring their admirers to their knees. Anyone who studies a snowdrop at close quarters will not only discover its magical beauty but also become aware of its sweet, honey-like scent. There are plenty of reasons, in other words, to develop a fascination for snowdrops and become a true galanthophile (snowdrop enthusiast)!


This book is intended first and foremost as an illustrated guide and source of valuable information for all snowdrop fanciers as well as for the serious or aspiring collector. It is the work of an experienced expert, passionate gardener and keen collector and aimed at all Galanthus devotees. After much deliberation and, above all, intensive consultation with snowdrop fans all over Europe, Günter Waldorf, one of Germany’s keenest collectors, decided to share his extensive collection of photographic material, collected over a period of many years, with fellow enthusiasts. After all, anyone who does fall under the spell of these remarkable bulbs is bound to want to see pictures of as many varietes as possible.


Since descriptions are not always accurate, this book confines itself to listing the individual species and varieties by name and, where necessary, including any additional, important information. Outstanding work has already been carried out by several English authors in producing minutely detailed descriptions of numerous varieties. In my experience, however, this is of very little use to the amateur gardener since the same species of snowdrop can vary considerably in plant and flower size depending on local nutrient levels. Furthermore,  galanthophiles are unlikely to be carrying rulers with them wherever they go. In reality, it tends to be the physical characteristics of a particular variety, such as yellow markings instead of green ones or unusual flower shapes, which capture the interest of the individual.  In many cases, it is purely the rarity factor which intrigues: rare varieties, in particular, are so sought-after that they may remain unavailable in any sizeable quantity for many years. Both Günter Waldorf and myself, a keen collector of snowdrops for almost 15 years, albeit on a far more modest scale, know that this illustrated volume is bound to provide galanthophiles with fresh ideas for new varieties to covet and collect. This is exactly what drives all ambitious collectors: the search  for and discovery of new types of snowdrop which will set a  garden lover’s heart racing. This book is not intended as a scientific monograph but is aimed at introducing beginners to the joys of the plant itself and to the delights of becoming a collector whilst simultaneously explaining some of the basic aspects of galanthophily. It is also hoped that any garden enthusiasts who have already been bitten by the Galanthus bug with find the photograph gallery a useful aid in identifying different species.


Oliver Kipp


Oliver Kipp is editor-in-chief of the German magazine GartenEden and author of several books. He has been a keen snowdrop collector for over ten years. Oliver Kipp lives in eastern Westphalia, where he has a garden covering an area of 8,000 square meters.

GUNTER WALDORF was bitten by the gardening bug at the age of six. Today, together with his wife, he maintains a substantial garden in Nettetal am Niederrhein in Germany, with around 450 varieties of snowdrops. He organises the successful Snowdrop Days that take place there every February.

'I thoroughly recommend this charming book.'

Gardens Illustrated

'The gallery of around 290 cultivars, plus 20 as-yet un-named, tantalising new discoveries emphatically refutues the charge that 'all snowdrops look the same' while giving all galanthophiles, aspiring and experienced, much to dream about.'

The Garden

'An engaging new book ... has a gallery of nearly 300 snowdrop varieties and a wealth of information for experience and aspiring galanthophiles.'

The Lady

'This charming little book tells you all about these alluring flowers, from how to grow and propagate them, to the best way to build up your own collection.'

Daily Mail Weekend

'a pleasant addition to the galanthophile's library'

Garden Design Journal

'Waldorf's book, a pretty little thing published in square format, presents a useful gallery of more than 300 snowdrops'


The Independent

'a complete guide to this elegant flower's cultivation and care, and includes a beautifully photographed alphabetical listing of more than 300 varieties.'

Country Living
Frances Lincoln
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