Snowdrop Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses You Should Know

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Snowdrops appear like little silky ornaments on a bed of snow before the break of spring. If you haven’t noticed it yet, these lovely flowers resemble much like fine pieces of jewelry.

Once you read up on the delightful meaning and symbolism of this flower, you’ll surely become a green thumb and add it to your garden!

The gentle snowdrop is a sign that the snow beneath has begun to finally melt. All the flowers blooming in clusters are a sight to behold. Aside from being a popular ornamental flower, it also has medicinal uses. It comes in a few floral colors with its own meanings. 

A white snowdrop means purity while a pink one symbolizes goodwill. Meanwhile, other colors such blue, purple, and yellow each represent chastity, empathy, and friendship, respectively. Every year the sun starts to warm the ground, expect the snowdrops to start blooming.

History of Snowdrop Flowers

The snowdrops were first called White violets by the ancient Greeks and the philosopher Theophrastus. The scientific name for snowdrop is Galanthus or the Galanthus genus. It comes from the Greek word gala and anthos meaning the milk flower. Carl Linnaeus was the first to name the flowers as such.

The genus Galanthus comes from the amaryllis family or Amaryllidaceae family. It features delicate botanical characteristics such as bell-shaped flowers. These bulbous plants sometimes produce large flowers depending on the species. Today, there are at least 20 species cultivated today as ornamental garden plants. 

Snowdrops are perennial plants that bloom early. It begins to bloom during the late winter to very early spring, in fact, it is one of the first spring flower. During the cold winter months, the snowdrop bulbs bloom early and the first flowers have three small and large petals. The first snowdrop to bloom is often called the Battle Lady spring.

The snowdrops are native to Europe, Middle East, and Southwest Asia. Some of the more popular species include the common Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) and the giant Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii). Other names of Snowdrops include Morning star, Milk flower, and Candlemas bells.

Symbolism of Snowdrop Blooms

Snowdrops as popular spring flowers symbolize new life and new beginnings. It indicates a bright future for the new year ahead because winter is ending and the seasons are starting to change. It is also symbolic as the harbinger of spring and is associated as the birth flower of January

Also, a legend from the bible speaks of the symbolic meaning of the flowers. According to the tale, a tiny snowdrop can symbolize hope. It was a symbol of hope during the time Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden. Additionally, it was also known to symbolize sympathy. 

Meaning of Snowdrop Flowers

The flower meaning of snowdrops lies in its history and season. Since it is the first flower to bloom in spring, its etymological meaning is often associated with new beginnings and the start of something new. In the language of flowers, the snowdrop flower meaning stood for change and new chances. 

Additionally, a gentle snowdrop flower offers both dark and reassuring meanings. There is hearsay about single stem snowdrops. Bringing this flower into a home meant death and bad luck. Amidst this, it also sends a reassuring message of calming your fears and comforting you during your darkest days.

What does a White Snowdrop Flower Mean?

White petals from the snowdrops hold a very deep meaning. These white flowers hold the symbolic meaning of purity and innocence. This white flower also bears the meaning of purity and humility just like the sight the first snow offers. 

What does a Pink Snowdrop Blossom Symbolize?

Snowdrops bearing gracious pink petals symbolize a friend with a helping hand and ready to offer it whenever necessary. It embodies one’s kind-hearted nature and eagerness to spread goodwill. 

What does a Purple Snowdrop Floret Indicate?

A purple snowdrop hints at one’s first-ever emotions of love. Now, these emotions are not exclusive to love alone, but surprisingly, it also offers one’s consolation and empathy. 

What does a Blue Snowdrop Bloom Represent?

Milk flowers with mellow blue petals represent one’s chastity and death. It embodies the cold and lifeless state of the ice the flowers bloom from. 

What does a Yellow Snowdrop Flower Symbolize?

Yellow Snowdrops are a symbol representing friendship and relationships. These flowers are also symbolic of happiness and spring of joy!

white snowdrop and bee

What is the Superstition Behind Snowdrop Flowers?

There are some superstitions and a cultural significance behind snowdrop flowers. In early Victorian England, many believed that Milk flowers are harbingers of death and a bad omen. According to the belief in the Victorian era, bringing a single stem of snowdrop into a home meant death and misfortune. The snowdrops bad luck during this time.

There is also a legend wherein this Victorian belief arises from. It tells the tragic story of two lovers and their undying love. A beautiful woman named Kema one day discovered her dead lover. 

Overcome by grief and pain, she plucked a single snowdrop stem and placed it upon his chest. While waiting for a miracle to happen, the flower instead turned into icy snowdrops. Sadly, snowdrops are really associated with emblems of death.

There are other legends from ancient times that tell about the delicate snowdrop. In the Moldovan legend, a young girl named Lady Spring pricked her finger and the blood fell onto the ground blooming into the flower. When the blood drop bloomed into the snowdrop, the white flowers indicated a victory over the cold reign of the winter witch.  

A German legend also speaks beautifully of these flowers. According to the legend, God created snow to gather colors from the flowers. Other flowers refused to give up their colors. Since the snowdrop is the first spring flower, it at first refused to give up its color. In exchange for the privilege of being the first flower to bloom in spring, the snowdrop had no choice but to give in. 

In Homer’s Odyssey, the discovery of galantamine was first noted. Some scholars say that Homer describes Odysseus using the extracts from the snowdrop to clear and relax his mind from bewitchment. 

What is the Biblical Significance of Snowdrop Blossoms?

The figure of the Virgin Mother is associated with a multitude of floras and the Snowdrop is not an exception! The flowers are celebrated in a Christian festival known as the Candlemas feast. 

Candlemas is celebrated every year on the 2nd day of February to honor the day Virgin Mary took the child Jesus to a Jewish temple to bestow an offering. The flower petals were scattered around the church and decorated on garlands as a symbol of purity. 

Aside from Candlemas, Milk flowers are also known as the Fair Maid of February. These dainty little florets were present during the day of the Virgin Mary’s purification hence the name it was given. Additionally, the blossoms are also said to be sacred to virgins and are most commonly seen blooming in old convents and monastic buildings.

What does a Snowdrop Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

Amidst the dark forewarning of Victorian beliefs, the same idea does not apply to a Snowdrop floral tattoo. Those who choose this floral design amongst other beautiful flowers want to embody hope and a new beginning. Aside from this, this floral tattoo also symbolizes rebirth.

Uses of Snowdrops

When you get these flowers to bloom, it presents pretty flowers with a sweet fragrance. Its delicate beauty makes it a great choice for cut flowers or ornamental garden plants. The plant also has a few medical uses. Traditional medicine claims that flowers are used to treat headaches and act as painkillers. 

Although in today’s modern medicine, researchers share information about the plants used for treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia.  The plant’s bulb contains a compound called Galantamine and Lectin which are supplements to improve memory.

Other medical applications of Galantamine include its ability to enhance menstrual flow and induce abortion. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

~ image source: depositphotos/Delight-Grafik

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