Leucojum



Leucojum is a genus of bulbous, flowering plants belonging to family Amaryllidaceae, containing two species; Leucojum vernum (Spring Snowflake) and Leucojum aestivum (Summer Snowflake or Loddon Lily). It is native to central and southern Europe, but have been introduced and have naturalized in other area, including the east coast of North America.

Leucojum has dark green leaves that are narrow and strap-like. The flowers are slight fragrant, small and bell-shaped, white with a green (occasionally yellow) spot at the end of each tepal.

Leucojum vernum (Spring snowflake) can grow to 30 cm tall, bearing white flowers which have distinctive green tip at the end of each petal from midwinter to early spring. There are two varieties for this species. L. vernum var. vernum have flowers which have green spots on its tepals. L.vernum var. carpathicum is a larger plant with yellowish spots on itss tepals. The shorter L. vernum var. vagneri is a vigorous plant, often with two flowers per stem, and grows well around deciduous trees and shrubs.

Leucojum aestivum (Summer snowflake) has a wider natural range, occuring in Europe, southeast Asia and northern Iran. It grows in wetter habitats including damp woodland, riversides and swamps, and taller than L. vernum at 60 cm, but its flower are smaller, and are carried in an umbel of between three and seven. The seeds are fleshy and inflated, allowing them to be dispersed by flood water. Leucojum aestivum subsp. pulchellum is native to the western Mediterranean BAsin. It is smaller and grows to 20 cm, and bears flowers from mid-March.

Plant Leucojum in sun and in moisture-retentive soil. Propagation is by seed inautumn; or remove offsets after flowering, Narcissus bulb fly and slugs are pests that attack the plants.

Leucojum aestivumLeucojum aestivum
Author: KENPEI (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.1 Japan)

Leucojum vernumLeucojum vernum
Author: Böhringer Friedrich (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

Leucojum vernum var CarpathicumLeucojum vernum var Carpathicum
Author: Roweromaniak (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic)

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