From the Greek word gala, for milk, and anthos, for flower, are the roots of the snowdrop's Latin name. The species name, nivalis, means "of the snow," so Galanthus nivalis literally means "milk flower of the snow." It's a fittingly poetical name for this gem of a flower that braves the cold and shows itself even in the bleakest of winter days. In some countries, it's known as fair maids of February. In French, it's called perce-neige, which literally translates as snow-piercer.
Fear no more, thou timid Flower!
Fear no more the winter's might,
The whelming thaw, the ponderous shower,
The silence of the freezing night.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge