ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE SNOWDROPS
We have been delighted to offer a range of double snowdrops from Estonia.
The varieties have the stamp of that great plantsman Taavi Tuulik who bred and developed the range in Estonia, along with the excellent Estonian Spirit range grown and introduced by Dryad Nursery.
Double snowdrops are an often overlooked area of growing and really special new varieties have been in short supply, one thinks of only Mordred and Betty Hansell. To address this need we will be launching the best of these new varieties over the next year or two.
Taavi chose to name the series after Estonian birds. There are varieties with wonderful inner markings, quite distinct amongst the doubles and those with elongated inner petals like Berthtille, which give them a petticoat appearance.
These stunning new varieties are a major addition to the double snowdrop varieties available to discerning collectors.
Taavi's own notes on the group:
Estonian Birds Group is created by Taavi Tuulik fom händ pollinated seeds using nivalis ’Flore Pleno’ as a male parent. The crossings were made in open garden 2007-2008 and were not fully controlled. Female parents were:
G. plicatus from Crimea (’Kaur’, ’Sõtkas’, ’Vart’)
G. plicatus from Krasnodar region, Russia (with all-green inner segments) (’Kakk’, ’Meltsas’)
G. elwesii var. elwesii from Turkey (Dutch export) (’Tihane’, ’Tikk’)
G. elwesii var. elwesii from abandoned garden in Hiiumaa, must come from the NW Black Sea coast (’Lagle’, ’Ristpart’, ’Tutkas’)
mixed plants G. elwesii and G. elwesii x nivalis – from abandoned garden in Hiiumaa, G. elwesii must come from the NW Black Sea coast (’Aul’, ’Kiur’,’Luik’, ’Sabatihane’, ’Siisike’, ’Vutt’)
From ca 200 bulbs during their first flowering 2012-2015 16 were with double flowers.
The Estonian Birds Snowdops are:
Aul (Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis)
Kakk (Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus)
Kaur (Arctic Loon Gavia arctica)
Kiur (Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis)
Lagle (Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis)
Luik (Swan Cygnus)
Meltsas (Green Woodpecker Picus viridis)
Ristpart (Shelduck Tadorna tadorna)
Sabatihane (Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus)
Siisike (Siskin Carduelis spinus)
Sõtkas (Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula)
Tihane (Great Tit Parus major)
Tikk (Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca)
Tutkas (Ruff Philomachus pugnax)
Vart (Greater Scaup Aythya marila)
Vutt (Common Quail Coturnix coturnix)
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'AUL'
This one is named after the Estonian for Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis).
AUL is a very pretty and distinctive double snowdrop flowering at 10-12 cm, with narrow leaves, and almost spherical buds opening to show 3 outer segments surrounding a boss of inner segments which bear a two-toned double mark. The apical inverted V is a dark green, whereas the second mark, about half-way along the segment, is a more diffuse oval of pale apple green, sometimes separating into two 'eyes'.
The 3 central inner segments are sometimes all white, extending beyond the rest of the inners.
It increases well.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'KAKK'
KAKK is named for the (Boreal Owl Aegolius funereus)
Kakk was bred from G. nivalis ’Flore Pleno’ hand-pollinated with a G. plicatus from the Krasnodar region, Russia.
Flowering at under 15cm high, the relatively large flowers usually have 3-4 outer segments, of heavy texture and lightly ribbed. The 8-12 inner segments are heavily ridged. the apical mark is deep moss green, bleeding back along the corrugations for a short distance towards the base. The basal mark is pale apple green, usually resolving as two separate 'eyes', displaying well between the long claws of the outers.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'KAUR'
This one is named after the Estonian for Arctic Loon (Gavia arctica).
KAUR is a fine double snowdrop flowering at about 13cm high. The flowers usually have 3 unmarked outers and a neat whorl of inner segments which have an inverted heart mark at the apex and occasionally a fainter mark at the base. Between the outers and the inner whorl, there is usually an additional set of 3 segments that are intermediate in shape and colouring to the others. Taavi considers that this makes it a double poculiform. The leaves are about half the height of the flowering stems at flowering time. The bulbs are vigorous and increase well.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'KIUR'
This one is named after the Estonian for Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis)
KIUR is a neat little double, flowering at about 10cm high, the flowers are usually very regular, with 3 outer segments and a beautifully regular boss of inner segments, each boldly marked with a green 'bridge' at the sinus, flaring into a wide oval towards the base.
The bulbs are vigorous and increase well - a gem!
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'LAGLE'
LAGLE is named after the Estonian for Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis).
It is a beautifully neat double snowdrop flowering at about 16cm high with usually very regular flowers with 3 outers and a neat whorl of inner segments which have a double mark, the two marks often joined together. The leaves are upright and about half the height of the flowering stems at flowering time.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'LUIK'
LUIK is named after the Estonian for Swan (Cygnus), and is one to appeal to the lovers of 'spiky' snowdrops such as Blewbury Tart.
Bulking rapidly, Luik flowers at about 10cm high. The inner segments have a dark green w-shaped apical mark and a single paler spot near the base. The outer segments are claw-like.
Taavi tells me that in mature bulbs, the flowers change from spiky to a more normal shape, but I haven't seen that here yet.
LUIK mature flower. Photo Taavi Tuulik
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'MELTSAS'
MELTSAS is named after the Estonian for Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Bred from a G. plicatus from Krasnodar region, Russia (with all-green inner segments) x nivalis ’Flore Pleno’ this is truly well-named for the Green Woodpecker with its green striped and tipped outer segments and heavily green-marked inners. Looking up into the flower the inner segments appear rich green with a clean, narrow white edge. The flowers have been very stable here, always with 3 outer segments and a neat, regular boss of inners. A nursery favourite.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'RISTPART'
RISTPART is named after the Estonian for Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna).
It is a striking double snowdrop flowering at about 16cm high with usually very regular flowers with 3 outers and a neat whorl of inner segments which have a double mark, the two marks usually joined together. The leaves are upright and about half the height of the flowering stems at flowering time. In some seasons, the central inner segments are longer than the others, protruding out like fangs.
Taavi tells me that the mother plant is G. elwesii from NW Black Sea Coast - never before used in breeding as far as he knows. It is one of his favourites.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'TUTKAS'
TUTKAS is named after the Estonian for Ruff (Philomachus pugnax).
It is a very refined double snowdrop starting to open at less than 10cm high. The stiffly upright, hooded, supervolute leaves present the flowers beautifully.
At first, the very regular flowers will fool you into thinking it is a single snowdrop, as the inner segments are so neatly arranged inside.
There are 3 outer segments and a very tight whorl of inner segments bearing a deep green inverted V at the apex, usually joined to a matching zone in the basal half, but not reaching as far as the base. The sturdy, almost cylindrical ovary is subtended by a curved spathe. This has become a nursery favourite.
ESTONIAN BIRD DOUBLE 'VART'
VART is named after the Estonian for Greater Scaup (Aythya marila).
It is a very regular double snowdrop flowering at about 15 cm high with 3 outers and a neat whorl of inner segments which have a single mark. The plicate leaves are upright and about half the height of the flowering stems at flowering time. A beautiful new addition to the somewhat limited existing range of double snowdrops.