1996 32¢ Snowdrop
Winter Garden Flowers
Issue Date: January 19, 1996
City: Kennett Square, PA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforations: 10.9 vertical
A harbinger of spring and a sign of returning life, the snowdrop’s name refers to the color of the flower and its teardrop shape. According to legend, when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden it was snowing. A despairing Eve was reassured by an angel, however, that after winter, spring would return. And touching some of the snowflakes, the angel transformed them into flowers.
Although thought by many throughout the centuries to be a symbol of hope, in some parts of Great Britain it was believed that even a single blossom carried into the house when the flowers first began to bloom would bring bad luck. Housewives said the blossom resembled a corpse in its shroud. Interestingly, the flower’s nodding head, which closes and droops slightly more at night, actually retains some of the daytime warmth, keeping the inside of the flower as much as two degrees warmer than the outside surrounding air.
Despite its apparent fragility, the snowdrop is actually very hardy, and has somewhat of a stubborn nature – unlike other flowers it cannot be coaxed into blooming. Native to alpine areas of Europe and Asia, it blooms early in the growing season and grows best in slightly shady areas.