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a genus of plants of the family Amaryllidaceae. The small perennial bulbous plants have a short vegetation period. There are usually two leaves, and the flower stalk generally has one nodding flower. The perianth consists of six white segments—three inner ones and three outer ones. The outer segments are significantly larger than the inner ones. There are 17 or 18 species, growing primarily in forests on foothills, mountains, or high-mountain meadows. They are found in Asia Minor and central and southern Europe. One species is encountered in Lebanon. The USSR has more than ten species, distributed mainly in the Caucasus. The common snowdrop (G. nivalis) and G. plicatus are grown as early-spring ornamentals.
The Russian word for snowdrop—podsnezhnik—is often used to refer to the many plants that bloom in early spring—that is, a systematically heterogeneous group of plants, including Scilla sibirica, Hepatica nobilis, and Anemone nemorosa.