Native to Europe. Easy-to-grow perennial with dark green, strap-shaped leaves and nodding, bell-shaped, white flowers with segments tipped green. Naturalize under deciduous trees, in shrub borders or orchards, or on cool slopes. Plant bulbs in fall, setting them 4in. deep and 3 in. apart. Do not disturb until really crowded; then dig, divide, and replant after foliage dies down. Not eaten by rodents.
L. aestivum. SUMMER SNOWFLAKE. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. One of the classic passalong bulbs of the South, shared by gardeners for centuries. Often seen in cemeteries and on old home sites. Named summer snowflake by gardeners in northern Europe, where it blooms in early summer and has been cultivated since 1594. Leaves are 11 ft. long; stems grow 1 ft. tall, each carrying three to five 1-in. flowers. 'Gravetye Giant' is a bit taller and larger flowered than the species; it has as many as nine flowers per stem.
Summer snowflake doesn't need much winter chill to bloom well; it even blooms dependably as far south as central Florida. In the Coastal South, flowers come from late fall through winter; elsewhere, expect bloom in late winter and early spring, with early daffodils.
L. vernum. SPRING SNOWFLAKE. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. Much less common than L. aestivum and less tolerant of mild winters. Leaves are 9 in. long. In earliest spring, each foot-long stem bears a single large white flower (occasionally two per stem).