A race of pretty bulbous plants, comprising about
eighty species indigenous to the temperate regions
of Europe, Asia and Africa. Scilla hispanica is the
Spanish Squill, with blue bell-shaped flowers
in slender racemes on one and a half feet stems.
Scilla peruviana, the Cuban Lily, a native of Algeria,
has lilac-blue star-shaped flowers in dense conical
clusters, sometimes six inches across.
Scilla siberica, the well-known Siberian Squill, reaches
up to six inches with starry bell-shaped flowers
that vary from pale to deep blue with a central
line of dark blue to each segment; there is also
a pure white form.
Scilla nutans is the common Bluebell of English woodland.
There are a number of other species, all more
or less attractive.
Easily grown in rich, well-drained sandy soil
in sun or partial shade.
All are quite hardy, except Scilla peruviana,
which needs some slight winter protection in severe
Effective for naturalising in bold drifts in short
Propagate by offsets or from seed.
The flowering season is in February or March for
Scilla siberica, and in May and June for the others.
Six to ten inches.
Flowers blue, March and April.
The earliest of the Squills if Scilla praecox,
or Siberica, whose drooping, shallow bells of
rich blue are companions of the Snowdrops
and Crocuses of the early
The bulbs should be planted two or three inches
deep in October, in lines or patches, as large
as may be convenient, for the full effect of their
colour is lost when they are “dotted about”.
They may remain untouched for several years in
any fairly good soil.
If used for spring bedding, lift when the flowers
Scilla campanulata and Scilla nutans are taller
and later flowering, closely resembling the wild
Wood-Hyacinth or “Blue-Bell”.
The leaves form a drooping tuft on the ground,
and in May stems a foot or fifteen inches high
bear nodding spikes of light blue bells.
There are also varieties with white and pinkish
Plant the bulbs three or four inches deep and
two apart, in autumn.
They are more suitable for odd corners, naturalising
in shrubberies, etc., than for beds or masses
in the flower garden.