It wasn’t me.

Those crazy Europeans, they’re at it again with their crazy galanthomania.  I guess here in America we revel in our questionable pop culture and right to bear (and use) arms, but “they” go nuts over those little white flowers of the genus galanthus.  I think Japan is the only other place where plant nuts are so free to express themselves.  In the UK, snowdrops on Ebay are a springtime phenomena and just this week a new record was broken with the sale of “Golden Fleece”.

galanthus golden fleece sold on ebay

The winning bid for “Golden Fleece”, a yellow inverse poculiform (inPoc) which up until its appearance on Ebay was just a dream for some dropaholic.

1,390 pounds converts to about $2,150, and the 4 pounds shipping works out to a little over six dollars.  I did a little (very little) investigating and found that an ounce of gold closed at about $1,260 today, and according to my inexact estimates this snowdrop is worth approximately twice its weight in gold…. all at six dollars shipping.

I guess people are into snowdrops.  Fortunately I’ve missed that addiction, but if you haven’t and you’re somewhat interested, here’s a link to a Money magazine article on the “snowdrop bubble”.  It features an interview with our very own Carolyn of Carolyn’s Shade Garden, and if you happen to be interested she still has a few more reasonably priced snowdrops left for sale at her nursery…. just in case you’d like to see what some of the fuss is about.

Me on the other hand, I’m waiting for someone to cry out that the emperor has no clothes, or at least that all his clothes look the same… they’re all little bits of white and green and sometimes yellow which you can’t tell apart until you’re six inches away.  I of course would never fall for that.



27 comments on “It wasn’t me.

  1. Christina says:

    I’m with you on this Frank. It all recalls the Tulip phenomenon in Holland in the 18th century when the cost of one tulip bulb could be as much as the cost of a house! I love snowdrops but the plain ordinary ones planted in great drifts and those only cost a few pounds per 100.

    • bittster says:

      I also love the drifts and fat clumps far more than looking at lonely labeled inmates. I do have to admit though to picking up a few fancy ones, I’m afraid I have a little of the fever :/

  2. Cathy says:

    I was just thinking the same as Christina – reminiscent of the tulip deals of the 17th and 18th century! I wonder what the next collectors’ whim will be? Glad to hear it wasn’t you that forked out all that money for one little plant… just imagine if it didn’t flower or worse still died! 😉

    • bittster says:

      I paid too much for a snowdrop last year, and the stress of waiting for it to reappear and bloom was almost too much! I can’t imagine multiplying that by 100….
      You have me thinking about what the next big thing will be. I’m sure I will fall for that too 🙂

  3. Chloris says:

    Well obviously it wash’ t you and it wasn’ t me either, I love snowdrops but I wouldn’t pay that much, even if I could afford it. But you must admit it is a very pretty snowdrop. Come on, you protest too much, you love those little bits of white, green and yellow. Secretly you think those Emperor’ s Clothes are very fine indeed.

    • bittster says:

      If I was overburdened with too much cash I believe I would be first in line to throw it at each and every snowdrop seller. My disgust with the price paid for this one has more to do with my empty wallet and envy than anything else. I would love my very own Emperor’s wardrobe!

      • Chloris says:

        Same here, but shush, don’ t tell anybody. As we can’ t afford to pay over £1000 for a single bulb we can feign moral outrage and a lofty disdain for those who can and do.

  4. donna213 says:

    Cute take on the crazy pricing. Plants don’t mean that much to me to even pay retail price! If I did not get them free or wholesale through work, my garden would have very few growing. Collecting particular plant species was always peculiar to me because of all the variety in the world. Too much beauty and too much that is special.

    • bittster says:

      I think that’s the difference between us, you’re happy to photograph and enjoy the flowers around you, I on the other hand covet and must own them myself!! -ok, maybe it’s not that bad, but I do enjoy filling my garden with all kinds of treasures… even if it means a jumbled mess of competing ‘coolest ever’ plants and no design whatsoever!

  5. Annette says:

    It wasn’t me neither…but I have a fair idea of what to do with the money if anyone would care to give it to me instead!

  6. Pauline says:

    And it wasn’t me either! I like the wild ones just as much as my specials, it is the wild ones that I split regularly to make carpets of snowdrops, I wouldn’t be without them. Lots of people I know, sell some of their special bulbs on E.Bay each year, as they bulk up, and they recoup the cost of their new bulbs that way, so maybe not so crazy after all !

  7. Love this Frank…you won’t find me paying this much for any plant….I remember when I was collecting hostas for my shade garden (it was all shade) that there were outrageous prices for many new and unusual ones….I thought about it but refrained.

    • bittster says:

      It’s so easy to look around and discover all the things you never knew you needed but then suddenly desperately NEED!
      I’m old enough to remember when there seemed to be only four hostas, a green, blue, white variegated and gold variegated…. I completely missed the hosta craze and although I wouldn’t turn down a new one my favorite ones have been around for decades.

  8. Well, I like snowdrops (I’m English, for goodness sake) but not at that price! It would probably die in my garden, or a chipmunk would carry it off. P. x

  9. Wow, that is some pricey “minor bulb”! I have to admit, though, that I do wish we had a somewhat better selection of named cultivars available here in the states (says the woman who once had six different cultivars of Geranium x cantabrigiense in her garden “just to see how much they actually differed”, LOL).

    • bittster says:

      Hmmm. I see absolutely nothing wrong with multiple geranium cultivars. I think it’s downright sensible!
      It is a challenge to put together a nice little snowdrop collection. I guess that’s just part of the fun, but having a few more available wouldn’t be the worst thing… unless they’re all at astronomical prices!

  10. I think snowdrops are nice the same way I think marshmallows or white rice are nice. I just don’t see what all the fuss is about. I have a few tucked into the ground and a few others in a pot right outside my kitchen door and neither have done much of anything so far. But I suppose the heart wants what it wants and logic isn’t part of the equation.

    • bittster says:

      You say that now Tammy, but I’m sure in no time at all you’ll add another few white and green ones to your collection lol
      The wife tried questioning the need for more look alike plants and I pointed out her collection of flip flops. I have one pair, she has dozens and dozens…. the look was worth having to make my own dinner.

  11. Well, there was a tulip bubble where a single bulb would command the same price as a fashionable mansion in Amsterdam, so this snowdrop mania is reasonable by comparison.

    • bittster says:

      Real estate prices around here could almost get you a decent hovel for the price of a snowdrop. I’ll give it a few more years and see what happens.

  12. […] Be prepared.  If you don’t know what the big deal about little white winter flowers is I don’t think there’s enough room or attention span here to get into it.  People like them, and some people are crazy about them.  Crazy enough to think that $20 or $40 dollars for a single bulb isn’t unreasonable.  It is of course, but in a moment of madness I may admit I’ve spent that and possibly bought more than one.  The English, who before their Brexit vote had seemed awfully reasonable, have been known to go off the deep end with snowdrop prices and I believe the eBay record for one (single) bulb currently stands at ~$2,100 US. […]

  13. […] Even if you don’t buy, it’s still fun to see drops which have recently gone well over $1,500 a piece on Ebay offered for their first US sale… for a much lower price thank […]

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