Snowflake Flower Meaning and Symbolism

The snowflake flower is a unique specimen when it comes to symbolism. If you want to find out more about the snowflake flower meaning, this guide will have you covered!

The white color of the snowflake flower highly influences its interpretations. The flower is now a famous symbol of sympathy, innocence, and hope, despite being bad luck in the Victorian era.

Read on for more information about the snowflake flower, its origin, and what it symbolizes. Let’s dive right in!

About Snowflake Flower

The structure of the snowflake flower doesn’t only affect its symbolism, but also its etymology. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the origin and description of the flower as well as its blooming season and conditions.

Description

The snowflake flower is the common name of the genus “Leucojum”, which belongs to the Amaryllis family.

This small genus used to contain a wide range of species, but they were later moved to another genus “Acis”.

Currently, only 2 flowering species remain in the Leucojum genus, and both of them are known as “snowflake flowers”.

These two species are known as Spring Snowflake (Leucojum vernum) and Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum).

The snowflake plant has a white bell-shaped flower with touches of green around the tip of the six petals.

The plant is cultivated for ornamental purposes and has a faint earthy scent that is reminiscent of chocolate

Besides the petal, the small flower extends from a soft stem that bends downwards, giving the effect of fading flowers.

Also Check: 15 Flowers That Mean Bad Luck

Origin

You can find the snowflake flower in various locations around the world because the two species are naturalized in East Asia, Polynesia, North and South America, and Australia.

However, the flower is originally native to the partially shaded meadows and ditches in Southeast Europe.

Etymology

As you might’ve guessed, the snowflake flower gets its name from its white-colored petals that resemble snow in meadows where they bloom.

The flower also goes by various other common names, such as dewdrop, snowbell, Gravetye Giant, and St. Agnes flower.

However, it’s a common mistake to refer to the snowflake flower as the snowdrop flower. This is because there are other flowers that go by that name.

Despite the similarities in name and description, the snowdrop belongs to the Galanthus genus rather than the Leucojum genus. The word Leucojum is derived from the word “Leukos”, which means “white” in Greek.

Snowflake Flowers close up

Blooming Season

Although the name of the flower might suggest otherwise, snowflake flowers usually bloom when temperatures warm up.

In native climates, the flower blooming range extends from the earliest days of spring to early summer. It then continues to bloom until early fall.

Keep in mind that both spring snowflake and summer snowflake flowers bloom around the same time.

The main difference between the two is actually in the size, as the summer variety is slightly larger.

What Does Snowflake Flower Mean?

Now that you know more about the flower’s origin and nomenclature, let’s have a quick look at the symbolism behind the flower and what it represents.

1. Condolences and Sympathy

In the Victorian era, snowflake flowers were associated with grief and death because of their downward-facing blooms.

The flower also grew naturally around cemeteries, which solidified the flower’s image as a symbol of death.

This made a lot of people think that the flower was a sign of bad luck and imminent death at the time.

For that reason, it was considered a bad omen to r take them inside a house. Also, people avoided picking the flowers because they believed it had a negative impact on the cow’s milk quality.

Later, the flowers’ negative associations began to subside and it was replaced with meanings of consolation and sympathy. The flower is still used to decorate funeral houses but it is also associated with more positive meanings.

2. Purity, Compassion, and Innocence

Like other white-colored flowers, snowflake flowers symbolize purity and innocence. Snowflake flowers also share various characteristics with lilies, which are the universal symbol of innocence and purity.

An old folk tale also associates snowflake flowers with purity and chivalry. The tale goes that snow was offered a chance to choose its color from the flowers of spring.

However, all flowers refused to lend snow their colors. Later on, the snowflake flower stepped out and offered snow its color.

After accepting the generous gift, the snow became white. As a gesture of gratitude, Snow protected the snowflake flower from cold winters so they’re capable of blooming as soon as the winter goes and spring arrives.

3. Hope and New Beginnings

As a perennial plant, snowflakes fade and bloom again in a continuous cycle every year. As a result, a lot of people see them as a symbol of rebirth and hope.

In fact, many tales, classic stories, and legends associate the snowflake flowers with these meanings.

The flower is also mentioned in the Garden of Eden story and is connected to Eve. According to the tale, an angel sent the snowflake flower to earth to comfort Eve after being banished from the garden.

For that reason, the snowflake flower would be a suitable gift to anyone struggling with hardships in their life or going through a rough phase.

The flowers carry messages of strength and endurance. It shows your belief in the recipient and their capability to overcome these hardships and reach a new chapter in life where good winds and a bright future are waiting for them.

4. The Arrival of Spring

Although spring is usually associated with colorful flowers, the arrival of spring is actually deeply connected to the snowflake flower.

For starters, the Leucojum genus is one of the earliest species of flowers to bloom in spring, making them an indicator for the beginning of the season.

Additionally, the flower is associated with spring through ancient tales, such as the tale of the fight between Lady Spring and the Winter Witch.

According to the legend, Lady Spring pricked her finger and her blood fell on earth. The snowflake flower bloomed everywhere the blood touched, which was also meant to symbolize hope and overcoming obstacles.

Another German tale also associated the flower with spring. The legend goes that snowflake flowers gave up their color in exchange for the privilege of being the first flower to bloom in spring.

Read more: Orchid Symbolism in Buddhism

When Should You Use Snowflake Flower?

The snowflake flowers make a great gift for someone who is struggling or going through a rough patch in their life.

The flowers send a subtle message of encouragement and support. It says that you believe in them and would be there for them no matter what.

However, there are a few occasions where other flowers might be a better choice for gifting.

For example, if someone’s birthday is in January, it’s better to send snowdrops instead of snowflakes. This is because snowdrops, together with Carnations, are the birth flower of the month.

Snowflake Flower Care Tips

Now that you know more about the Snowflake flower, you might be interested in growing the flower. To help you with that, here are some essential tips to keep your snowflake flowers healthy and extend their blooming range.

Soil

The snowflake flower can grow in different types of soil as long as they’re well-drained with plenty of nutrients. The ideal type for blooming snowflake flowers is clay soil, but it can thrive in other types.

As a plant, Leucojum can survive in acidic, alkaline, and neutral soil. However, for the best results, you should try to keep the soil slightly acidic.

Water

Snowflake plants don’t require excessive watering, as they’re low maintenance and easy to care for.

For example, you may need to water the plant once a week in summer and every 2 to 3 weeks in winter.

A good rule of thumb here is to water the plant when the top 1.5 inches of the soil are completely dry.

Snowflake Flowers

Temperature and Light

Snowflakes (typically grow in heat zones 3 to 9. They can tolerate the heat slightly better than their relatives (snowdrops). This makes them a better choice if you live in an area where it gets a little hot and humid in summer.

Leucojum also tolerates partial shades and can survive if you plant them around deciduous trees. However, you still need to expose the flower to a lot of light if you want bright blooms. The plant needs anywhere between 6 to 9 hours of full sunlight

Fertilizer

Before planting your bulbs, consider adding a bulb fertilizer to give your snowflakes a healthy head start.

You can also apply compost in late fall and early winter to supply the plant with the necessary nutrients needed for blooming the following year.

Wrap Up

This marks the end of today’s guide that walks you through everything you need to know about the snowflake flower and its symbolism.

As you can see, the snowflake flower can carry a wide range of meanings, depending on the culture.

The flower is a popular symbol of sympathy and condolences, but it can represent compassion and innocence.