The flowers of Leucojum aestivum Gravetye Giant are pure white and tipped green with up to 5 flowers per stem and this variety is a robust form which are very well suited for the shady areas of the garden where the soil is moist but not boggy. Cultivar name honours Gravetye Manor, the Sussex home of horticulturist and garden writer William Robinson (1838-1935) who introduced this plant.
Leucojum is native to Europe, except in the north-west, and then through Turkey to Iran. The two species, but particularly L. aestivum, are widely naturalised throughout the world, including in other parts of Europe, Japan, parts of Australia, North America and Uruguay.
This variety has an AGM (award of garden merit) given to it by the RHS after a number of years of trials for its great garden performance.
Leucojum can be left to naturalise for many years and like narcissi will quickly bulk up. The flowers appear in April/May at a height of about 50-60cm and look like the common snowdrop but slightly larger and on taller stems. Like most bulbs they need to have access to well rotted compost or organic matter (phosphate and potash) during the growing season. If not already in the soil add bone meal or similar to ensure they stay health for many years.
Plant 8-10cm deep in a well drained rich soil and they prefer full sun but will tolerate semi-shade. Plant in drifts or clumps for the best effect and leave undisturbed for a number of years.
Flowering Height: 18-24″ (45-60cm)
Flowering Time: April