Galanthus nivalis

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaLiliaceaeGalanthusGalanthus nivalis


A bulbous perennial herb of moist woodlands and other shaded places. It is especially frequent in parks, large gardens and churchyards, but also occurs on road verges, by watercourses and in damp grassland. Spread is mainly by division of the bulbs, as seed production is poor. 0-370 m (Nenthall, Cumberland).



World Distribution

A European Southern-temperate species; widely naturalised outside its native range.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 5

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 7

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 7


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.5

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 15.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 919

Life form information

Height (cm): 22

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Bulbous geophyte



Clonality - primary

Tuberous or bulbous, slowing cloning by offsets

Clonality - secondary

Detaching ramets at or below ground

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1763

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 36

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 5

Atlas Change Index: 3.01

Weighted Changed Factor: 58

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (328a)
Davis AP
1999.  The genus Galanthus.
Mabey R
1996.  Flora Britannica.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.