In the midst of all the horror of the Crimean war (1853-56) came the hard Crimean winter. But British soldiers were amazed to see the battlefields covered in small, frail snowdrops. These pretty and delicate flowers flourished in the harsh Crimean winter. They covered the countryside so thickly that it looked like a fall of fresh snow. The flowers were the Crimean snowdrop (Galanthus plicatus).

Many of the British soldiers took tiny bulbs home with them, some even slipped the bulbs (little bigger than a grain of wheat) into letters to their wives and sweethearts at home. They were carefully planted and flowered the following year. Snowdrops were planted on the graves of the soldiers who died in the Crimea, and the snowdrop was christened ‘the flower of consolation’.