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Single Galanthus bulb sells for £1850

A very rare single Snowdrop bulb has sold for £1850

Galanthus golden Tears

A very rare single Snowdrop bulb has sold for £1850 after 55 bids  on the online selling platform eBay. The bulb named Galanthus plicatus 'golden tears' was brought by an unnamed bidder. The variety was bred by Glanthus expert Joe Sharmen known as the king of snowdrops or more correctly as a Galanthophile.

According to Mr Sharmen 'Golden Tears’ is a "narrow-flowered yellow pterugiform with a very large mark and bright yellow ovary. Very beautiful and distinct. Quite different from Golden Fleece. Exceptionally vigorous. Only one for the season."

Joe from Cambridge had previously sold a variety named Galanthus plicatus 'Golden Fleece' for £1390 after taking some 18 years to greed it. This new variety, 'Golden Tears' is from the same breeding line.

Galanthus are naturally very promiscuous, and in the wild or garden situation will produce numerous seedlings, all of which will be slightly different but normally not distinctly different enough to be worthy of naming. Experts such as Joe Sharmen will choose two promising parents and deliberately cross these and select out only the very best for further crossings and eventually resulting in a few almost perfect varieties.

Bulbs can then be cut into tiny sections, as many as twenty per bulb, each with a tiny section of the baseplate from where roots and eventually a bulb will usually form in about four to five years.

Security is a big issue for many Galanthophile, with frequent reports of bulbs being stolen, Mr Sharmen who owns both a nursery and garden does not open his garden or nursery for this reason. fortunately any stolen bulbs will easily be recognized from their distinct makings and guilty parties can be prosecuted. Sadly EU regulations introduced since the UK left the EU makes it impossible for Mr Sharmen and others to sell bulbs into the European union.

Galanthus Facts

There are around twenty distinct species and many thousands of varieties

Galanthus were first reported in the UK as early as the 1500s

Their Latin name translated means 'milk flower'

Two men were arrested in 2019 for stealing 13,00 bulbs from the Walsington Estate in Norfolk

A treatment for the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be extracted from the bulbs and is called Galantamine.

Lord Heseltine has a huge collection of more than 700 varieties




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