The snowdrop is the only flower who has no problem flowering in the snow. Have you any idea why the snowdrop is named after the snow? And why the flower is as white as the snow itself? This is a story about egoism, anger and compassion. Draw closer and listen…..
When God created the earth in six days, he had a lot to do all at the same time. So much needed to be created, that there was a shortage of parts. As a result, there were no normal tails left for the rabbit and so he had to make do with a strange white fluffy tail. The mouse had to remain gray, because gray was the only colour over.
When it was the turn of the rain, the snow and the wind, the supply of colours seemed to have been completely used up. The snow remained colourless. That is why the woods and the fields stayed covered under a thick layer of transparent snow in the springtime. The animals were very hungry, because although the seeds were visible beneath the colourless snow, they could not reach them.
Because of harsh conditions God felt sorry for the plants and the animals and told the snow that it could ask a plant for a colour. The plants refused to cooperate. The yellow catkins of the hazel did not want to part with its pale yellow and the sea buckthorn refused to give up the orange of its berries. The snow refused the red colour in the berries of the guelder rose, because it considered it to be too bright. The snow then became very angry. The wind, which had also not been given colour, joined forces with the snow. Heavy snowstorms lashed the land.
One small flower saw this all going on and felt sorry for the snow. When the colourless snow was resting from the last snowstorm, the little flower called out to the snow that it could have her white colour. The snow thought the white colour was splendid and was so touched by the flower’s offer, that he decided to allow the snowdrop to be the only plant which could blossom in the snow. The flower was so pleased about this, that from then on it called itself the ‘snowdrop’. People have a soft spot for this little plant, because when the snowdrops flower in January and February people know that Spring is on the way.
Snowdrops are native plants to middle and southern Europe. In Northern France, Belgium and The Netherlands they are known as “stinze” plants. These were the exotics first brought to these regions from the beginning of the 16th century onwards to adorn the gardens of the rich. The bulb propagates itself by seed formation among other methods. In woodland areas it is the red ants which ensure the distribution of the seeds of the wild snowdrops. To protect its precious pollen the flowers of the snowdrops only open when the outside temperature rises above 10 degrees. The best time to plant or move snowdrops is immediately after flowering, when the small leaves are still green. Keep some earth on the roots when transferring it to somewhere new, because this contains the moulds necessary for growing and flowering. Millions of small bulbs are dug up illegally in the woods of Turkey and other countries and then sold in Western Europe.
© Els Baars, Natuurverhalen.nl