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Water en land

Mens en Milieu



7 to 20 centimeters


flowers: white


February till April


honey bees and bumblebees


primarily secondary bulbs, less often via seed

life span:


  • Dut: Sneeuwklokje
  • Lat: Galanthus nivalis
  • Eng: Snowdrop
  • Fre: Perce-neige
  • Ger: Schneeglöckchen
Snowdrop, foto fitis, sytske dijksen


Snowdrops found growing in nature areas are wild forms of the cultivated plant. They are not native to the Netherlands. Cultivating new plants takes a couple of years, which is why it is done in the forest and not in nurseries. Such white snowdrop-covered woods can be seen in the Dennen on Texel. These bulbs are allowed to grow here, but they are no longer cultivated. In fact, it is not allowed to cultivate flowers in nature areas in this country. With the import of snowdrops from central France, the unusual species of land snails, Clausilias, was introduced to Texel. Other bulbous plants were also among the snowdrops, such as grape hyacinths.

  • Distribution and habitat
    snowdrops, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Snowdrops grow well in damp shaded areas on a wide variety of slightly calcium-rich soil. You find it often blossoming in deciduous forests, orchards, grasslands and old country estates. It is one of the first plants to flower in the year, starting in mid-winter depending upon how mild it is. Although snowdrops multiply primarily from secondary bulbs, they also produce seeds which are covered in an oily substance called elaiosome. Ants are attracted to the elaiosome and drag the seeds to their nests. The seeds themselves are left untouched.

  • Stinsen plants
    Closeup snowdrop,

    Snowdrops were first planted in the Netherlands by old country estates, the so-called stinsen. Stinsen are typical Dutch, originating in the province of Friesland. Stins means literally fortified stone house. Stone houses used to be very expensive to build and therefore only wealthy people could afford such homes. These people often had their lands planted with species that didn't originate in the Netherlands, such as snowdrops. These plants are called stinsen plants. Drooping star-of-Bethlehem and bluebells are also typical stinsen plants.