Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials
The hardier species are native to cold-winter regions of Europe and Asia, where they bloom with winter aconite (Eranthis) and snowdrop (Galanthus). Peruvian scilla (S. peruviana), a Mediterranean native, is more tender (and showy). All squills have bell-shaped or starlike flowers that come on leafless stems that rise from clumps of strap-shaped leaves.
Cold-hardy species naturalize easily and look best in small or large drifts. S. peruviana is most attractive in clumps along pathways, at edges of mixed plantings, and in containers.
Plant all types in fall, in well-drained, organically enriched soil. Set bulbs of cold-hardy species 2–3 in. deep and 4 in. apart; set those of S. peruviana 3–4 in. deep and 6 in. apart. Reduce watering when foliage yellows after bloom. Hardy kinds will tolerate less moisture during summer dormancy, but don’t let soil dry out completely. S. peruviana will accept summer moisture but doesn’t need any. Divide clumps (during dormancy) only when vigor and bloom quality decline.Scilla peruviana
Mediterranean native. Large bulb produces numerous, rather floppy leaves; in late spring, 10–12-in. stems appear, each topped with a dome-shaped cluster of 50 or more starlike flowers. Most forms have bluish purple blooms, but a white-flowered variety is sometimes sold. Bulbs are dormant only for a short time after leaves wither.
Grows 4 to 6 ft. high and wide. Double, pink, midseason flowers, and sporadic bloom throughout the yea...
Mediterranean native. Large bulb produces numerous, rather floppy leaves; in late spring, 10–12-...
Grows 4 to 6 ft. high and wide. Single, pink, midseason flowers, and sporadic bloom throughout the yea...