Yellow snowdrops - worth their weight in gold?
Do yellow snowdrops exist? Yes they do (or, at least, snowdrops with yellow markings) and and they are highly sought after. In 2022, a single bulb of Galanthus plicatus 'Golden Tears', bred by Joe Sharman of Monksilver Nursery near Cambridge, sold for £1,850!
Sharman previously broke records in 2015, when another of his introductions, ‘Golden Fleece’, bred over the course of a decade, sold for an eye-watering £1,390.
While most snowdrops are white, or white with green markings, some are yellow. The yellow markings are most frequently spotted on the flowers, usually on the ovary (at the base of the flower) or on the petals, but can also occur on the leaves.
The yellow colouring on a snowdrop is the result of a lack of chlorophyll, the green pigment that is present in all plants.
In Northumberland, yellow snowdrops, known as ‘halfers', arise spontaneously and regularly in wild clumps.
Having spent your money, you may find the yellow cultivars of snowdrops slightly tricky to grow. From the snowdrop's point of view, the yellow colouring is an error, and they need to be grown in plenty of winter sun.
As time passes, these new cultivars become a bit more affordable. You can now purchase 'Golden Fleece' from Joe Sharman for about £200. And some yellow snowdrops can be purchased from £15 to £40!
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