Galanthus elwesii (Elwes's snowdrop, greater snowdrop) is one of a number of species of the genus Galanthus, herbaceous, perennial, bulbous plants belonging to the family Amaryllidaceae. It is a native of the Caucasus.
This herbaceous perennial plant grows to about 20–25 cm high. It grows from a globose bulb, 2–3 cm in diameter. It produces two leaves which are obtuse, linear, and blue-green in colour. The flowers are globose, white, pendulous, and 2–3 cm long, and solitary at the tip of a solid, pointed scape. The outer floral tepals are oblanceolate, with shorter inner tepals that are emarginate (notched at the apex) and taper towards their base with green patches apically and basally (see illustrations). The fruit forms a dehiscent capsule that forms three valves. Overall G. elwesii is a more robust plant than G. nivalis.
G. elwesii was identified by the British botanist Henry John Elwes on a visit to Turkey in 1874. In early April, whilst in the mountains near Smyrna (modern Izmir), he came across "the fine large snowdrop which now bears my name". It was then formally described by Joseph Dalton Hooker (1875) and named G. elwesii, with an illustration by W H Fitch in Curtis's Botanical Magazine, and thus the species bears his name as the botanical authority. Later the plants collected by Elwes were found to actually be G. gracilis but the name was retained for a different specimen.
The species is named in honour of Henry John Elwes.
G. elwesii is grown as an ornamental plant in gardens where they easily naturalise. Bulbs planted in the autumn flower in the early spring. Propagation is by separation of bulbils after flowering.
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- RHS (2016). "Galanthus elwesii: Elwes's snowdrop". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
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