Chionodoxa, An Early Spring Bloomer

If you are looking for a flower to grow that will give your garden some early color in the late winter or early spring, try growing Chionodoxa. Chionodoxa is a perennial flower that is also known as glory-of-the-snow. It is native to the mountainsides of Western Turkey. These flowers are among the first fall planting bulbs to bloom in the spring. The flowers have been known to push their way through the snow, hence their other name. The name comes from the Greek, where “chion” means snow and “doxa” means glory.

The flowers tend to bloom mid-March to mid-April. They grow around 6 inches tall.  The small star-like flowers have six petals and grow in clusters. You will find them in lilac to violet-blue, pink and white. On the colored flowers, they have white centers. As the plant matures over time it will naturalize.

Plant the bulbs in a location where they get full to partial sunlight in the early spring. They need to be planted in well-drained soil around 4 inches deep and approximately 4 inches apart. The preferable soil is moist in the spring but not soggy. The bulbs can be grown in containers or forced indoors in the winter. Put them in a container in mid-October and precool them at around 38 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 weeks with moderate watering. Bring them into your home and they should bloom in about two to four weeks.  They are hardy for zones 2 – 8.

This plant looks terrific when planted in mass as a garden border, in a rock garden, or a river-like strip. Other interesting ideas are to plant them beneath trees or shrubs or even try planting them in your lawn.  If you plant them in the lawn, wait 6 weeks after the flowers bloom to mow the lawn. Chinonodoxa is one of the few flower bulbs that do well under walnut trees.  Try adding Chionodoxa mixed with other early spring bloomers like Daffodils, Hyacinths, Muscari, and Tulips.

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