The snowdrop symbolizes hope as the birth month flower for January. Like the white snow that often surrounds the bud, it’s often linked to innocence, purity and sympathy. A thin stem, slim leaves, and a drooping bell-shaped head — usually white — characterize the flower.
Part of the Galanthus genus, snowdrops are bulbous perennials that belong to the Amaryllidaceae family. They were first noted by Greek botanist/philosopher Theophrastus in the 4th century BC. He called them “white violets.” Around that time, the Greeks created an extract that, when ingested, they used to alter consciousness. For example, in Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus uses the plant “moly” to clear his mind from witchcraft. They believed that Hermes gave them to humans to fight witchcraft.
In the 1500s, both Flemish and English botanists recorded that they originated in Italy, and had spread through Europe. People treated headaches, regulated menstrual flow, and treated the nervous system using the plant.
Snow Drop Flower Meaning
Historically, the flower has taken on several meanings. In Victorian England, the flower marked someone for death or bad luck. They also considered it bad luck to pick them or use them inside. This tradition may come from the fact that they often grow around cemeteries or near gravesites.
In Christian mythology, Eve sat sobbing in the cold, bitter wind after being cast out of the Garden of Eden. Legend says that an angel took pity on her and sent snowflakes down to ear. Snowdrops grew where they landed.
Romanians refer to them as “Daughter of the Wind.” Their legends state that the sun returns to earth at winter’s end in the form of a young girl. One year, winter kidnapped the girl. Her lover fought the winter to free her. Snowdrops grew where his blood spilled upon the earth..
German legends say that God dropped snow on every flower to help him create a color for them. Every flower acted rudely except for the snowdrop. As a reward, snowdrops bloomed first but also gave up their color.
Bees love to their nectar-rich flowers, which are often among the first to emerge in late winter and early spring. All that early spring buzz links it to the anticipation of warmer weather.