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Common Name: Summer Snowflake
Leucojum aestivum is a Bulb up to 0.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
Europe, including Britain, from France south and east to Spain, Greece, the Crimea and Iran.
Marshes, wet meadows and willow thickets, avoiding acid soils[
Easily grown in ordinary garden soil[
]. It does well in a moist heavy soil in full sun or partial shade[
] and is happy in water-logged conditions[
The dormant bulbs are fairly hardy and will withstand soil temperatures down to at least -5°c[
Plants can be naturalized in damp rough grass[
Flowers are produced within 4 - 5 years from seed. The seedpods are swollen and filled with air so that they can be dispersed by floating in water[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
Bulb - cooked[
]. I have some reservations about this report, though no records of the plant being poisonous have been found so far.
The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a well-drained soil in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 2 - 3 months cold stratification, it should then germinate in 2 - 4 weeks at 10°c[
]. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be allowed to grow on undisturbed in the pots for their first year of growth. Give them an occasional weak liquid feed to ensure that they do not become nutrient deficient. Pot up the small bulbs when dormant, planting 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another 2 - 3 years before planting them out.
Division of offsets in September/early autumn. It is best done as soon as the foliage ripens[
Scooping the bulbs.