Alpine Squill

Scilla bifolia

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Scilla bifolia 070406a by Bernd Haynold (CC BY 2.5)
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A close up of some purple Scilla bifolia flowers
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Scilla bifolia 070406a by Bernd Haynold (CC BY 2.5)
1 of 13
Scilla bifolia is a bulbous perennial species in the Asparagaceae family of flowering plants. Common names include early spring squill and alpine squill, this deciduous plant typically grows to around 15cm tall. Flowers are starry, 6-petalled and violet-blue in colour, these measure approximately 2cm across and they are produced early in spring. The flowers are arranged on upright stems, between 2-10 are produced on branched structures known as panicles. These are stems where each individual flower has its own stalk. Flowers nearer the base are older and new flowers are produced from the growing tip at the top. Foliage is arranged in pairs, appearing from the base of the plant, leaves are straight and grass-like. This plant has earnt a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, it has a tufted habit and grows well in partial and full sunlight. This species is hardy down to -20 degrees Celsius, plant in moist and well-draining soil for optimal growth.

Planning

Flowering time

Spring

Propagation

Division

Separate offsets when dormant.

Special features

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

Europe, Eurasia.

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Dry

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Acid, Alkaline, Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Notes

Well suited to placement in a rock garden or alpine house.

Personality

Family

Asparagaceae

Flower colour

Purple, Blue