We love yellow snowdrops so much that we have dedicated a whole border to them. The border in question is our Blue and Yellow Border which in Spring and Summer is filled with plants that only have blue or yellow flowers and include such popular plants as Phlomis russeliana, Geranium ‘Buxton Blue’, Buddleia weyeriana ‘Sungold’ and Iris sibirica.
The border is mainly herbaceous, with just the odd shrub, so makes the ideal blank canvas for the yellow snowdrops to shine.
Let’s start with a classic, the beautiful and showy Galanthus ‘Primrose Warburg’, she’s a beauty. Not the first to flower, but has got to be one of the largest and as such really stands out. Like many plants owes its name to a famous plants person, in this case Primrose Warburg. Born in 1920, she always had a love of plants and married Professor Warburg who was an eminent botanist at Oxford. She gardened at South Hayes, Yarnells Hill, Oxford and was a member of many gardening societies and in fact set up the Crocus Group which she ran until her death in 1996. The flower has a rich egg yolk yellow ovary, and generous yellow markings on the inner segments. It stays in flower for a couple of weeks in the right weather, and is steady at multiplying; making quite substantial clumps.
Who next? How about Galanthus plicatus ‘Sarah Dumont’? Another good sized flower. The ovaries tend to be a yellowy lime green on this one, but the marking in the inner segments is again large and rich yellow. Being a plicatus, it does well for us in North East Scotland and is quick to make large floriferous clumps over a couple of years.
On to something a bit smaller, one of the yellow nivalis; ‘Blonde Inge’. Not as prolific as the first two, it is still a beautiful snowdrop and well worth having. This time the ovary is a solid green, but the markings on the inner segments are a clear bright yellow.
While we are on the subject of nivalis, we cannot forget ‘Lady Elphinstone’. A yellow form of flore-pleno, it can be somewhat irregular in its yellowness. Even within the same clump, some plants will revert back to the standard green. Theories abound as to why this happens, but we do notice if the plants are lifted and split then some will go back to being green, even when we know that specific bulb was yellow the previous year. Soil also seems to have an effect. We grow clumps in a few places in the garden besides the Blue & Yellow Border and have noticed they remain more yellow in that border where there is liberal leaf-mould each year and the soil is slightly more acidic than in other part such as the kitchen garden where lime has been applied in the past for brassicas.
A third very dainty yellow snowdrop is nivalis ‘Norfolk Blonde’, this one takes patience, and it will be several years before we see a clump that is big enough to split, 2020 was the first time we had managed it. Only barely a yellow, the ovary and inner markings are pale and more lime yellow than bright yellow. Distinctly, the inner segment markings are split into two, one either side of the sinus.
We have 20 yellow snowdrops in the Blue & Yellow Border, and a few dotted elsewhere from when we ran out of room, so it would be boring to continue to describe each one as we go. Some can be seen in the shop, and most are illustrated on our social media pages in Instagram and Facebook – do take a look –
And also on our garden pages at
Finally, lets finish with one of the most famous yellows, and the one we probably get asked about the most – Galanthus plicatus ‘Wendy’s Gold’. A large bold snowdrop with the typical plicate leaves. The yellow is not as rich as ‘Primrose Warburg’, but the mark on the inner segments covers about ¾ of the surface. It is sadly not as prolific as some of the other plicatus or hybrid yellow, or we would not have so many disappointed visitors when they ask if we have any spare for sale.
Ok, finally, finally – it would be remiss of me not to mention one of our newer yellow snowdrops. Galanthus Midas is like a ray of sunshine with bright yellow markings on the outer segments and a slightly greenish yellow on the inner segments; the yellow is brightest in areas where it gets good sun and less shade.
Just to finish off here is a list of some of the other yellow snowdrops we grow –