Guest post by:  Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s

A plant with delicate white blooms, called Snowdrop, (Galanthus nivalis) can be seen prominently on Seattle Children’s Hospital campus along Penny Drive. These curved, graceful flowers can survive the harshness of winter and will sprout their green shoots up through the snow. This bulbous perennial blooms in late winter into early spring and was intentionally placed by the grounds team to spark visual interest for the gardens during the dark winter months.

The grounds team works hard to plan and provide garden delight for visitors year round. This takes careful insight so that visitors can experience something across all five senses; sight, smell, sound, taste and touch, whether it be the rare flash of color in winter or the texture of a peeling bark on a ‘Paperbark Maple’ tree.

The Snowdrop is a favorite species amongst the grounds team and the white bloom is just one of three similar species, and a cultivar on the grounds. The garden also has Galanthus gracilis, Galanthus caucasicus of gardens, and Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’. This plant will spread to provide important ground cover across low lying areas in the winter shade.

The hospital also has two other bulbous perennials, a summer hyacinth called Galtonia candicans, and two species of Luecojum, known as ‘summer snowflake’ (aestivum), and ‘autumn snowflake’ (autumnale), that echo the shape and color of the Snowdrop in the spring, summer, and fall.