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Snowdrops are a cheery sight in winter – their little white flowers emerge even when the soil is frozen.

Did you know that they aren’t native to the UK, but it isn’t actually known when they were introduced here?  They may have started as an ornamental garden plant in the 16th century but weren’t recorded in the wild until the late 18th century.

I love that they are so rich in symbolism and mythology.  As the flower arrives early in the year it’s regarded as one of the first signs that winter is almost at an end, so it’s often associated with hope for better times ahead. But don’t pick them and take them indoors – superstition has it that it’s unlucky to do so!  The flower is also historically linked with Candlemas and was often used to decorate churches during this Christian festival – this earned it the nickname Candlemas Bells. And I bet you didn’t know that once upon a time snowdrops would have been used to treat headaches and as a painkiller! 

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