Plantwatch: Bulb flowers weather cold snap better than most

Natural antifreeze protects these alpine plants from a blanket of late snow after blooming

Spring bulb flowers are extraordinarily tough. Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and others have largely survived the onslaught of freezing cold this spring, so how do they cope?

These are alpine plants, originally from the mountains of Europe and central Asia, where they were well used to flowering in bitter cold with snow on the ground. One trick they use to survive the cold is their own antifreeze, proteins that prevent ice crystals forming in their cells and killing them.

Related: Let bee-friendly bulbs transform your spring | Alys Fowler


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