The genus, Leucojum belongs to the family of Amaryllidaceae, which are popularly known as summer snowflakes. They are bulbous perennial plants of remarkable hardiness. Every year they usually make their presence at the end of the winter or at the early spring, though they are named as snowflakes. Western Russia, North Africa and Southern parts of Europe, ranging from the Pyrenees to Romania includes their native. They bear pendent, bell shaped flowers of six equal petals, spotted in green or yellow and usually appear as multiple flowers. They are also naturalized in some areas, such as Ukraine, Iran and North Africa, since they are popular around the world. At present, there are only two species which are classified under this genus, Leucojum. There are also many cultivars, which are maintained through cultivation, though they are endangered since they are over collected and also due to loss of habitat.

Cultivation : The summer snowflakes are very easy to grow, since they are easily naturalizing. They do well both in full sun and in the light shades. They also can be grown under, trees and shrubs provided; they shed their leaves at the end of winter and the early spring. They need a moist, at the same time, a well drained soil. They are dormant during the summer, and can tolerate drought in these times. Otherwise they need to be regularly watered during the late winter and the early spring, since it’s the time for them to grow and flower. They have a remarkable tolerance towards waterlogged soils and especially clay. As said earlier they are hardy, can bear even minus twenty degrees Fahrenheit of cold. Late winter and early spring are their blooming time usually. Even though they are easily naturalized, care must be taken during the cultivation and growing, for better results.
Propagation : The propagation methods of Leucojum are also very easy. Generally the propagation is done usually through their offsets or bulbs. The offsets are removed when the leaves are dead and shed down, during the period, when they remain dormant. The bulbs are planted of about 15 cm apart and 7.5 to 10 cm deep, in a moist and well drained soil. The propagation methods of Leucojum also includes, through seeds. Many prefer propagation through the bulbs, since it is very easy. The method of propagation through seeds is also easy, but demands, more care. In this method the seeds are collected and sown in a cold frame during the autumn. The bulbs of these plants, multiply very freely and therefore they can be divided every 3 or 5 years. Better results can be acquired, by taking care of the soil and the weather. Therefore the Leucojum are propagated easily.
Varieties : At present, there are only two species, which are classified under the genus of Leucojum. They are, Leucojum aestivum, which are commonly known as the summer snowflakes or Loddon lily and Leucojum vernum, which are commonly known as the spring snowflakes. The Leucojum vernum is also popular in UK, by the name, St.Joseph’s bells. There are about ten species coming under the genus Leucojum, which includes Leucojum autumnale, Leucojum roseum, Leucojum nicaeense, Leucojum carpathicumetc. The varieties vary in its sizes, shapes and even in colors, in every garden which is usual. The Leucojum aestivum, consist of two sub species. The current species were given some other names in olden day, they are as follows. The Leucojum aestivum was known as Leucojum pulchellum or Leucojum hernandezii and the Leucojum vernum was known as Leucojum vagneri or Leucojum carpathicum in olden days. Though there are not much species in Leucojum, each variety is unique. There are many cultivars around the world and maintained through cultivation.
Disease and Cure : The Leucojum are not seemed to be prone to disease. They are also proved to be pest proof. In some varieties such as Leucojum aestivum, the plants are easily attacked or harmed by the narcissus bulb fly and the slugs during the time of cultivation. No other varieties are seemed to be attacked by pests. Therefore are said to be carefree. Thus, growing and maintaining Leucojum is not a big deal. Even though they are not prone to pests and disease, it is advisable to use a small and recommended quantity of pesticides. They do not demand lots of care, but still it is good to see to them, they are fine.

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