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Native to Europe, snowdrops (Galanthus) suddenly appear on the loamy banks of Little Crum Creek.

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But how?

Perhaps, years ago, someone tossed the hearty bulbs over a fence. Maybe a neighboring garden washed downstream.  I have even read that ants can carry the seeds.

Certainly no one has gardened this ground for 25 years. 

Yet here are the snowdrops, not only free of cultivation or protection but perennially flourishing on their own each February and March.

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These early bloomers battle ivy and debris to beat the soon-smothering lesser celandine and towering knotweed. 

They even penetrate lingering snow to reach sunlight. 

Fortunately, in the process, deer find them distasteful.

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Undisturbed, these crowded clumps of determined scapes, cradling tightly furled flowers in protective spathes, reach just inches above the leafy litter before each bundle of tepals pops free to bloom in pendulous florescence, one by one.

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No doubt these impressive little plants made their way here from the careful cultivation of a domestic garden.

But now they seem just fine on their own, according to their nature, and wherever they may go.

Though not native, they are “naturalized.”

What’s to keep them, finally, from being “wild”?

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