Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Snowdrop Fairy


Deep sleeps the Winter
Cold, wet, and grey;
Surely all the world is dead;
Spring is far away.
Wait! the world shall waken;
It is not dead, for lo,
The Fair Maids of February
Stand in the snow!





 Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Snowdrop Fairy
 

Common Snowdrop

(Galanthus nivalis) 


Snowdrop is the best-known representative of about 20 species in the family Amaryllidaceae that are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring. The snowdrop grows 15 cm tall, flowering in January or February in the northern temperate zone. The white flower has six petals, the outer three segments being larger and more convex than the inner series. The six anthers open by pores or short slits. The ovary is three-celled, ripening into a three-celled capsule. Snowdrops should not be confused with their relatives Snowflakes, snowflakes are much larger and flower in spring (or early summer, depending on the species), with all six petals in the flower the same size.  Propagation is by offsets removed when the plants are at rest, immediately after the leaves have withered; or by seeds sown either when ripe, or in spring. 


Medicinal: It was suggested by Duvoisin in 1983 that the mysterious magical herb moly that appears in Homer's Odyssey is actually snowdrop. An active substance in snowdrop is called galantamine, which, as anticholinesterase, could have acted as a antidote to Circe's poisons. Galantamine (or galanthamine) can be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, though it is not a cure; the substance also occurs naturally in daffodils and other narcissi.

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