Scilla

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Scilla

Squills
Scilla siberica0.jpg
Genus: Scilla
Family: Colchicaceae
Type: Perennial bulbs
Forcing: Can be forced
Pollination: Insect

Scilla (squill) is a genus of bulbous perennial herbs in the hyacinth family Colchicaceae. The 90-odd species are found in woodlands, subalpine meadows, and seashores across the Old World. Their flowers are usually blue, but white, pink, and purple types are known; most flower in early spring, but a few are autumn-flowering.

Several African species previously classified in Scilla have been removed to the genus Ledebouria. The best known of these is the common houseplant still sometimes known as Scilla violacea but now properly Ledebouria socialis.

Scilla peruviana is of interest for its name; it is a native of southwest Europe, not of Peru. The name results from when Carolus Linnaeus described the species in 1753; he was given specimens imported from Spain aboard a ship named Peru, and was misled into thinking the specimens had come from that country. The rules of botanical naming do not allow a scientific name to be changed merely because it is potentially confusing.

Description[edit]

Bulbous perennials with strap-like, fark green leaves. Flowers held on small scapes above the foliage.

Species[edit]

Species include:

Uses[edit]

Some species are suitable for planting in lawns, otherwise they are generally grown in ground covers.

Squill liquid extract, a preparation of powdered squill and ethanol, is used as an ingredient in cough medicines and cardiac surgery.

Propagation[edit]

By offset or seed.

Pests and diseases[edit]

Rusts

References[edit]

  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 945-946. 
  • Pirone, Pascal P. (1978). Diseases & Pests of Ornamental Plants (Fifth Edition ed.). John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp. 483. 
  • University of Washington