Scilla or squill is a genus of flowering bulbs native to the woodlands, meadows and seashores throughout Europe and Africa. It can be identified by its bright green leaves and produces clusters of bluebell or star-shaped blooms.
They look a lot like snowdrops, but slightly larger and blue in colour. Flowers are typically bright blue, but white, pink and purple varieties are available. Some species are fragrant. Most flower in the early spring, while a few bloom in the fall. Plants grow to be 6-8 inches tall.
Gardeners living in colder climates, like Canada, love planting scillas because they are amongst the first flowers to bloom in the spring. As well, they are hardy and low maintenance. Plant in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. When the plants start getting large, lift and divide in the fall.
They would look especially attractive in rock gardens and woodland gardens. For the best visual effect, plant in masses in front of or around trees and shrubs or with other early spring bulbs.
Scilla make pretty cut flowers and are often used in spring arrangements, with the flowers lasting 7-10 days.
Climate zones: 3-6
Fun Facts about Scilla:
- Scilla Siberuca is one of the most popular varieties
- Scillas are sometimes called quills
- Scilla is an ingredient in traditional herbal medicine to treat lung diseases
- It is an ingredient in rat poison
- The plant is considered toxic; the leaves, stem, berries and roots all contain toxins, with the bulbs being the most poisonous