non-white Galanthus - apricot, orange, and pink snowdrops

Submitted by Mark McD on

The term "non-white snowdrops" is an actual term used by some Galanthophiles. Originally it may have been applied to snowdrops that have yellowish peduncles suspending the white flowers rather than green ones, and can include yellowish petal markings rather than green. Even though the flowers are still essentially white, those with these yellowish features are referred to as "yellow snowdrops". To the uninitiated or budding-galathophile, this term could be confusing, thus the explanation. Many of these are charming and would make worthwhile additions to the garden, if only they were... 1) available & 2) affordable.
Here's one of the better ones named G. nivalis 'Golden Boy'.

In my opinion the term "non-white snowdrops" is a largely a misnomer, used to define so-called "color-breaks" in the genus, purportedly of apricot, orange and pink snowdrops. I have not seen any evidence to date that there exist snowdrops that can be vaguely called apricot, orange, or pink. I'm happy to be proven wrong. I would however include some of the lovely nearly-all-green Galanthus forms in the "non-white" category, although the term is not used in that context.
To get an idea of green ones, here's a delightful one called 'Green Tear':

In the links below a new cultivar named Galanthus elwesii 'Jonathan' is described as a non-white "apricot" snowdrop. I joke that you might need a pair of amber "galanthospecs" to see the apricot color; I don't have a pair so all that I see is a white snowdrop with green markings, and the inner green markings "showing through" from the outside causing some faint dull yellowish green cast. But apricot?

Scroll down to Galanthus elwesii 'Jonathan' in this link:

Photos of Galanthus elwesii 'Jonathan':
...if anyone sees apricot snowdrops in this link, you must be using updated "galanthospecs" :D:

PBS discussion on the "non-white" snowdrops:

PBS discussion - MMcD response 1 (some links inside), March 2012:

PBS discussion - MMcD response 2 (more links inside), March 2012:

PBS discussion forum response, defending apricot and orange snowdrops:

In that discussion, there is also mention of Galanthus reginae-olgae 'Pink Panther'. So far this remains a phantom panther because scanning the internet yields zero tangible evidence that a certifiable pink snowdrop exists (0 photos). In the 27,887 and counting Galanthus messages on SRGC Forum I found one mention of Galanthus 'Pink Panther', referring to seeing this new pink Galanthus in a nursery list for £150. I would think something as earth shattering as the first pink snowdrop would be all the rage, with photos and information abounding. It's been a year since I requested seeing a photo of this, I still doubt the existence of a pink snowdrop until I can see it with my own eyes. Anyone have a photo or a photo link?


Submitted by Tim Ingram on Mon, 03/18/2013 - 11:45

Mark mentioned Leucojum (Acis) trichophyllum, of which there is a nice pink form, and also the lovely little Leucojum roseum, so I suppose the prospect of a pink snowdrop is not so far fetched (there are actually some now that look more like Leucojum than Galanthus). But it seems a little like the quest for a 'blue' rose, just not quite the thing. If 'Jonathan' is apricot, then apricots are anaemic.

Submitted by Rick Goodenough on Tue, 11/04/2014 - 18:43

Hey Mark,

I am a newbie here and am glad to be plugging into this great resource. I did happen to come across a couple of shots of G.'Pink Panther' on another site that I though you may be interested in seeing.  The color seems to definitely be there, but at a weak saturation level.  Fun to see though. Here is the url...not sure the link was delivered with the text.




Submitted by Mark McD on Wed, 11/05/2014 - 15:38

In reply to by Rick Goodenough

Hi Rick, I'm so used to seeing all your great Hosta hybrids over on Facebook, that it surprised me seeing you show up here, glad you did. 

I still reserve judgment, the two photos on SRGC forum are rather poor quality, under what seems like poor lighting, that the image could be "off".  I've seen some forumists (on another forum) get excited by a Galanthus photo that showed flowers with a blue tinge, but it ended up being a common color problem when photographing white flowers under very low light, where flowers can appear as having a bluish cast. And as you saw earlier in my links, there are galanthophiles arguing there are apricot colored snowdrops... the couple of photos I've seen, is clearly where the inner green markings showing through the flowers.  In Wim Boens link on the SRGC link you post, just below it, is a very clear daylight photo of 'Pink Panther', here it is, it's as white as the driven snow.;topic=1243.0;attach=73214;image

I'm still waiting to see proof positive of a pink snowdrop, I shan't believe it until I see a believable photo, although would love to be proven wrong.

Thank you Mark and good to meet up with you here. Digital photography is quite remarkable, but capturing white accurately is a challenge for most. Agreed that the photos I pointed out are less than crisp, if a bit dark as well. There is a faint trace of pink showing in them to my eye, but I would want to see that color in the flesh before I got too excited. Clearly the Boens photo does not show much of any color other than white. Cheers!