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Scilla verna

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© RHS 2002

Characteristics

Plant type

Bulb

Habit

Tufted

Origin

Native to the UK

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause severe discomfort

Resilience

Hardiness

H5 (hardy - cold winter)

Colour

Flower

Blue and Purple in Spring

Foliage

Green in Spring

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0-0.1 metre

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

spring squill

Family

Asparagaceae


Scilla are perennial bulbs with narrow basal leaves and erect stems bearing racemes of star-shaped, flat or bell-shaped flowers which are often blue

S. verna is a dwarf bulbous perennial to 20cm, with linear leaves and small, starry violet-blue flowers in a dense raceme or corymb in early spring

Other common names

  • sea onion
  • spring-flowered squill

Synonym(s)

  • Scilla umbellata

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Exposed or Sheltered

Cultivation

Plant 10cm deep in late summer or early autumn in any moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Useful in prairie plantings especially in sandy coastal locations

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Loam, Chalk or Sand

Propagation

Propagate by seed, sown, when ripe, in containers in a cold frame or separate offsets when dormant

Suggested planting locations and garden types

Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds, Low Maintenance, Rock Garden, Wildflower meadow, Wildlife Gardens or Prairie Planting


How to care

Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

May be subject to a virus