Picture Profile 2407: Galanthus elwesii “Lodestar”.

Artist Code 2407. Galanthus elwesii “Lodestar”. Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 10″ x 14″. Completed 3rd April 2024

This is snowdrop number twelve in a series of thirteen paintings of snowdrops for the Iceni Botanical Artists’ Fullers Mill Project, most with a special link to East Anglia. All the project snowdrops are situated in Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow, Suffolk.


Discovered by Richard Ayres at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire, in the 1980s, Galanthus elwesii “Lodestar” is a tall snowdrop with generous outer segments which wrap around the inner segments. When they open on mild days the two large marks on them, typical of elwesii, are revealed. This is a “bold” snowdrop which withstands inclement weather. The clump growing in Fullers Mill Garden, which usually flowers in February, has all shapes and sizes of leaves. Little stubby silvery-blue leaves appear first, then the buds, usually one flower stem in between two leaves. As the plant matures the flower stems increase in height and the leaves get longer and wider with prominent veining. In the Garden, the plants were surrounded by tiny cyclamen flowers and leaves, so I thought I would include them in the final artwork, adding a touch of [different] colour and extra interest in the beautifully marked leaves. Moss was also growing in several places – another added attraction! All the “Lodestars” growing in the bed had two distinct markings on the inner petals, and these were all different shapes.

Galanthus elwesii “Lodestar” (No. 12)

In January 2022, the Iceni Botanical Artists, IBA (of which I am a member, and Chair from November 2021–), decided that their next botanical project would be to paint a year of the flora and fauna in Fullers Mill Garden, West Stow, Suffolk, designed and planted by Bernard Tickner and his wife, Bess. It was decided that it should be a two-year project and completion of all artworks was set for 1st January 2024.

In March 2022, Annie Delbridge, then head gardener (with permission from the Charity Perennial who now look after the garden) supplied the IBA with a list of plants which grow in the garden and the animals, birds, insects, fish etc., which live in or visit the garden. Iceni Artists have been free to choose which plants, vistas and fauna they would like to depict and it is hoped that we will hold an exhibition of all the artworks, as well as publishing a book with a selection of paintings.

My main task for the project is to paint 13 snowdrops – some rare, some not so, and others which are different, and most with a connection to East Anglia.

Galanthus “Oliver Wyatt’s Green” (No. 11)
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Galanthus “Fenstead End” (No. 10)
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Galanthus “Wendy’s Gold” (No. 9)
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Galanthus “Paradise Giant” (No. 8)
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Galanthus elwesii “Chelsworth Magnet” (No. 7)
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Galanthus plicatus (Yaffle) (No. 6)
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Galanthus plicatus “Yaffle”. Flowerhead anomaly.
Galanthus “Chantry Green Twins” (No 5)
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Galanthus gracilis (No. 4) Picture Profile
Galanthus “Richard Ayres” (No 3)
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Galanthus “Three Ships” (No 2)
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Galanthus “Queen Olga” (No. 1)
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