Identifying Snowdrops
If you subscribe to any horticultural magazine or newsletter, now is the time that many of us are talking about snowdrops (Galanthus). These delicate, short-lived flowers have inspired fervent ardor among plant enthusiasts and collectors. And with good reason! As one of the earliest blooming flowers, snowdrops signal the waning of winter and the oncoming of spring. Without much other foliage or flowers to be found at this time, they humbly take the stage. You may have seen groups of snowdrops scattered around the arboretum, but I’d like to introduce you to our new collection, located in the Nelson W. Sterner Conifer Garden.
There are about 20 known wild species of Galanthus, native to Europe and the Middle East, but most of the 1,000 some-odd cultivars in cultivation today derive from just three common species-Galanthus elwesii, Galanthus nivalis, and Galanthus plicatus.
Figure 1: Galanthus elwesii: blue/gray leaves, large outer petals, and two green splotches on the inner petals
Our collection currently features five different varieties of snowdrops: Galanthus woronowii, Galanthus ‘Sam Arnott’, Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’, Galanthus elwesii ‘Mount Everest’, and Galanthus nivalis ‘Viridi-Apice’. We plan on adding more species and cultivars in the years to come to create a truly unique feature of the arboretum.
At a casual glance, many snowdrop varieties may look similar-the obvious characteristics being large outer petals and smaller inner petals painted with a touch of green. But if you look more closely you will be able to tell the differences between each variety in our new collection. There are several characteristics to look for when identifying snowdrops including leaf color, shape, and width, and also petal shape, size, and markings. For example, Galanthus woronowii (one of the first to pop up in the new collection) has bright grass green foliage, with just a simple light green spot on the bottom of the inner petal. Compare this to another species we have throughout the arboretum, Galanthus elwesii, and you can see the difference not only in leaf presentation, but flower presentation as well. Galanthus elwesii has a blue/gray leaf color and sports two green spots on the inner petals, which can often join to color the entire petal green. The third cultivar currently in bloom is Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ which is a double flowered cultivar. The dainty bell shaped flower is easily distinguishable from other varieties by the numerous layers of petals, and you may notice the leaves are much narrower than that of both Galanthus woronowii and Galanthus elwesii.
Figure 2: Galanthus woronowii: notice the grass green leaf color
Figure 3: Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’: very distinct double flowering variety
Our snowdrop collection is just beginning to bloom with Galanthus woronowii, Galanthus elwesii, and Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’ as the opening acts, but the show will continue throughout the month of March. These flowers are beautiful but brief, so visit soon!
-Jessica O'Callahan, Horticulturist
Annual Symposium
On February 28th we hosted our fourth annual symposium, Evolution of the American Landscape: Olmsted’s Legacy. The symposium celebrated Fredrick Law Olmsted’s contribution to not only the American landscape, but Bayard Cutting Arboretum. We have planned this in conjunction with Olmsted 200, a larger consortium of Olmsted designed landscapes to ensure that his legacy lives on by renewing commitments to the preservation and maintenance of historic parks and places.

We hosted five speakers with unique relationships to Olmsted landscapes. Joseph Disponzio, Ph.D., was a fantastic historian that gave us a wonderful synopsis of Olmsted’s background. Gina Wouters, Executive Director of Planting Fields Foundation, shared the fantastic influence of the Olmsted brothers and how to restore the landscape in modern times. Then we focused on trees with Beth Brantley, Ph.D., from Bartlett Tree Experts. Her insight on Olmsted’s commonly used trees and their challenges brought us into the 21st century. Bill Logan of Urban Arborists, spoke in depth about Olmsted’s use of oaks and their significance in the landscape. Lastly, our new director, Kevin Wiecks spoke on Olmsted’s legacy at Bayard Cutting Arboretum and how we continue to honor his design moving into the future.
This year we offered the symposium as a hybrid event to cater to a larger audience and recognize Covid safety concerns. Both sets of attendees had the opportunity to learn about Olmsted and ask questions throughout the day. We are pleased to educate our patrons and share how significant Olmsted’s legacy is to the American landscape. In addition to the speakers, in person attendees had access to the Olmsted 200 art show being hosted at the Manor House. The art show will be open to the public March 3 to 6th. We would like to thank all of our speakers and attendees for a wonderful symposium.

Looking forward, the arboretum is planning more events and educational programming. Keep up to date through our newsletters, website, and Facebook.

-Joy Arden, GIS Specialist
Staff Photo of the Month
Heather Coste,
Stunning morning colors emerging in the Old Pinetum.
Upcoming Events
Dates: Saturday, March 26
Sessions: 10-11 am, 12-1 pm, 2-3 pm
Cost: Children sessions $30, Adult session $40

Join us for a one-day ‘Create Your Own Terrarium’ workshop!
Terrariums are small, enclosed environments. We can think of a terrarium as a mini-greenhouse. In this workshop, students will learn about two types of terrariums, sealed or open, and be able to construct their very own using recycled materials. Each student will receive the supplies needed to construct their own creation, as well as plants designed for easy and successful growing. Participants will also learn about soil composition, water cycles, and ecosystems.

Dates: Thursday, March 3rd to Sunday, March 6th,2022
Hours: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Location: The Upper Annex of the Manor House, Bayard Cutting Arboretum
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted, we will be sponsoring a multi-media landscape exhibition featuring local artists. This exhibition is curated by Victoria Beckert.
Upcoming Dates: March 5
Cost per person: $40
For more info and to sign up: website
Join certified forest therapy guide, Linda Lombardo of Wild Heart Nature Connection, on a walk to reconnect with the natural world around us.
Arboretum Grounds Tours
The best way to see all that BCA has to offer is to take a “Grounds Tour” that is guided by a friendly and knowledgeable docent. We are offering free tours every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. We offer private grounds tours at $10 per person with a minimum of 10 on the tour. We hope to see you and your friends soon!
Arboretum House Tours
House tours will be starting again on Saturday, March 5th. They are held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Attic tours will also start March 5th at 2:30 pm and continue on Fridays and Saturdays. Call (631) 581-1002 to register for a tour!

The Hidden Oak Café will re-open March 5th. The Manor House will remain open for your enjoyment.
Gift Shop
The gift shop will be open on Thursday - Sunday from 11am-4pm. Stop by at the Manor House to visit the gift shop!
Check us out on Facebook to for up to date news and events!
Help Support Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Tax deductible donations can also be made by check payable to
Natural Heritage Trust and mailed to
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, PO Box 907, Great River, NY 11739