Leucojum aestivum 'Gravetye Giant'

Leucojum aestivium - Gravetye Giant (340)

Common names:

  • Summer snowflake

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • Wide white flowers with green markings, flowers in spring, rather late. The seed of leucojum species differ considerably. The unusual characteristic about the seed of L.aestivum which is fairly large and has at each end air pockets enables it to float and so be distributed. (April chapter of Stern's 'A Chalk Garden', page 63)
  • Summer/autumn blooming bulb

Description of plant:

Bulb larger than that of the Snowdrop. Leaves few, a foot long or more, like those of a Narcissus. Stem 1 to 1½ feet high, with a terminal cluster of 2 to 6 broadly bell-shaped flowers of a pure white, with a short, sometimes greenish tip.

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Full sun.

Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline.

It's easy to grow and multiplies freely in most gardens provided the soil is moist enough. It's been known to withstand flooding and standing water, so it's an ideal choice for bog gardens and pond-side plantings.

Country of origin:

  • central and southern Europe, from the Pyrenees to Romania and western Russia
  • but they have also been introduced and have naturalized in many other areas, including the east coast of North America

Highdown history:

Planted at Highdown by Sir Fredrick Stern. It is named after the home of William Robinson, one of the famous gardeners of modern times and author of the gardening book, 'The English Flower Garden', who:

“used to come here in his old age and was so kind, encouraging us and giving us plants. His remarks and criticisms as he was wheeled round in his invalid chair were most helpful.” (Stern 63)

Other interesting information:

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Leucojum aestivium - Gravetye Giant (744)

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