Galanthus woronowii is named after a famous Russian plant collector Georg Jurii Nikolaewitch Woronow (1, 2). It sports beautiful light-green foliage and elegant flowers with one green mark at the apex of each inner petal. It has supervolute verniation. The species mainly occurs in the Pontus Mountains in northeastern Turkey, the western Caucasus and the eastern Black Sea coast. The plant grows abundantly in Georgia, and has replaced G. elwesii in recent years as the primary snowdrop species imported into the European Union and Great Britain. Its habitat is that of deciduous woodland, but also rocky areas that have shade and plenty of snow- or rainfall. It grows at heights from 20 to 1500m, but generally between 100 and 700m, in cold areas with high rain- and snowfall. It flowers between January and April with scapes 4-19cm long. The leaves reach 13-25 x 1,3-2,1cm in size.
In the wild, two subtypes occur. The first has more flat-lying leaves, deriving from woodland areas. The second more erect leaves, deriving from rocky areas. The plant is often confused with G. ikariae, but its leaves are of a lighter green, its inner segment marks are smaller and the leaf anatomy differs when leaves are cut.
In culture, the plant is less hardy than species like G. nivalis, G. elwesii or G. plicatus, and it has been noted to disappear in harsher winters. The beautiful green leaves make it a desirable garden snowdrop nonetheless. In cultivation, it flowers from January to March.
- Galanthus woronowii. Galanthus wild species. CITES Bulbs.
- Freda Cox. Gardener’s guide to snowdrops. Crowood 2013.