Here is Galanthus ‘E.A. Bowles in its pomp, 24th February 2016, a very good year and a stupendous snowdrop, easily the finest in my collection at the time. Well last year it failed to flower. When I checked out the pot it had rotted away. Given that in 2011 it was a world record breaking snowdrop, a loss like this is not to be tolerated. I replaced it and then, this spring, I checked the pot and there was no sign a bulb had ever existed. None. At the beginning of March I obtained a three nose sprouting bulb from a very reputable supplier, the price having gone down as rare snowdrop prices invariably do. This was to be a present for my sister-in-law. It has not flourished. Indeed when I opened up the pot the bulb was rotting, and black inside when I cut it open.
There are a number of reasons why bulbs give up the ghost. Narcissus Fly is one, compost that is not sufficiently well drained another. Neither of these factors applied here or indeed earlier with the bulbs.
Now I am informed by a very reputable grower that she has experienced the same problem with the cultivar. She no longer grows it and two other well known growers in her experience have also given up on this beautiful bulb. Luckily I was reimbursed for my failed bulb by the seller and I have a source for a free replacement.