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Chionodoxa

This flower's small, star-shaped blooms appear early, sometimes before the snow disappears.

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The Greeks called this bulb "glory-of-the-snow" because its stoic blooms sometimes push up right through the snow. The small, star-shaped blue blooms sparkle in rock gardens and borders and hold their brilliance for 2 to 4 weeks.

Because they bloom early in spring, these bulbs can be planted under shrubs and trees and still reap the full sun exposure they need to be in top form. Left on their own, chionodoxa self-seeds and forms a dense carpet of blue or lavender bloom.

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Varieties

Latin Name: Chionodoxa luciliae
Common Name: Glory-of-the-snow
Zone: 4-8
Description: Growing 3 to 5 inches tall, these small wonders produce stalks of nodding blue blooms with a striking white eye. Six to 12 flowers per stalk are surrounded by attractive, grasslike foliage. Try the pink variety 'Pink Giant,' which produces 6-inch spires of pink flowers.

Latin Name: Chionodoxa sardensis
Common Name: Glory-of-the-snow
Zone: 4-8
Description: A smaller, paler, and less floriferous species than C. luciliae, this chionodoxa produces stalks of light blue blooms with white centers.

Planting and Care

Location: Full sun
When to plant: Fall
General Instructions: Once planted, chionodoxa requires no care. Although they need well-drained soil, no other special amendments are required. Plant 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in a spot that receives full sun. Each fall the plants will self-seed, so your initial investment will pay enormous dividends. Leave the plants undisturbed after they flower.

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