Galanthus ikariae is named after the Greek island of Ikaria, which is its only place of occurrence in the wild along with a couple other islands in the Aegean sea (Andros, Naxos and Skyros). Its a species accustomed to the humidity of river valleys with deciduous trees, at a height of 600-900m (1). The plant grows flower scapes of 6-20cm long. Its leaves have supervolute verniation and are green and broad. In comparison to G. woronowii, its inner segment mark is generally larger, usually more than half the length. The size of the plants are greatly dependent on its environment, leaves can grow up to 50cm x 3cm in suitable conditions, but will remain only 10cm in tougher circumstances. The snowdrop flowers from January to April in the wild and from February to March in cultivation (2).
G. ikariae is thought to be less hardy than other snowdrop species. In milder parts of western Europe, the plants can reach relatively large population size by seedings.
A large, seeding population in Ireland has yielded a green tipped cultivar called ‘Emerald Isle’ (3). Another similarly beautiful cultivar is ‘Alexandrite’, said to be a better grower than ‘Emerald Isle’ by snowdrop expert Matt Bishop, although currently less easily obtained.
- Galanthus ikariae. Galanthus wild species. CITES Bulbs.
- Freda Cox. Gardener’s guide to snowdrops. Crowood 2013
- Paddy Tobin. Galanthus Emerald Isle. SRGC.net forums 2011