A B C D E F G H I J L O P R S T W
Scilla ,
Flower Bulb

Scilla is a genus of perennial plants which belongs to the family Liliaceae. Scilla has almost 100 species under its genus. It is commonly known as Squills and blue bells. The plants under this genus grow throughout spring and into early summer. They are usually planted during late summer or the beginning of spring. These plants are found in woodlands and the margins of shrubberies. They have their origins in the meadows and seashores throughout Asia and Europe. Theses flowers flourish all the way from western Europe to parts of Asia like Japan to the Africa. The flowers of plants under this genus are almost always blue. However, different colors can be found in the cultivars and hybrids. Today, they are found in shades of pink, red, purple, blue and white. Many African species which were before hand classified in the genus Scilla have now been removed from it.

Most of the flowers under the genus Scilla bloom during spring or early summer. However, the different species of plants under this genus vary in terms of planting time from one another. Some species can grow effectively in cold climates while the others prefer warmer locations. The bulbs are easy and quick to grow into beautiful flowers. These flowers have been used by physicians before the time of Christ. They have many medicinal uses. These plants bloom earliest in the spring, before any other plant in the garden and are very desirable. These flowers can be used for room-decorations and in wild-garden. Some species of this plant under the genus Scilla also has beautiful, lush foliage. They are the perfect plants for attracting pollinating insects because of their sweet odor. Luckily, they are not troubled by rodents.  

Appearance: The genus Scilla consists of about 100 species. Most of the flowers of this genus are blue however other colors like purple, pink, lavender, red and white are also available. The flowers surround the stalks. Some flowers are similar in appearance to Hyacinth while others densely packed around a stalk. The flowers are usually small and star shaped. However, some flowers are bell shaped and bigger too. Some varieties also give off a pleasant aroma. The foliage of theses flowers are dark or bright green in color and have a grass like or strappy  appearance. They are very beautiful when planted in a large number. In mild climates, the foliage is evergreen. Some varieties give long leaves which are shaped like a lance. The flowers grow and bloom on long, lax basal clusters.

Variety: Scilla is known to have a wide variety of flowers in its genus. The species under this genus vary in terms of colors of the flower, the environments in which they grow and . These flowers can be found in a wide array of colors like blue, white, purple, red and maroon.. Some species like S. sibirica and S. bifolia grow very early once planted while others are slow. Some species like Spanish bluebell (Scilla hispanica) grow well in shady locations while the other variety, Scilla peruviana grows best in warmer places. Scilla peruviana grow in wide array of light and soil types. A species of Scilla also known to grow in cold climates. Siberian squill, however prefers shady locations and hates dry conditions. Spanish scilla are usually loved and grown on the borders of bushes and in the wild and rock gardens.

Wood Hyacinth (Scilla Festalis) as the name suggests, these flowers are known to flourish in woods. The best varieties that this species contains are not very popular. The prettiest variety of this species is the Alba which is white in colour and  rosea which has rose-like color. These plants are planted in wood  and along the borderss of shrubberies. Scilla Hispanica whose common name is Spanish Scilla is the most strong and healthy variety belonging to the scilla. They grow in early summer and are distinguished from other flowers by their short-stalked, large flowers. The flowers are bell shaped and  usually blue Italian Scilla  whose scientific name is (Scilla Italica)contains whittish blue flowers with a pleasant aroma.this variety is considered to be the best and most loved of all the varieties of Scilla. They are as tall as 10 inches with small pretty flowers. They bloom best in warm soils.Siberian Scilla is another beautiful variety belonging to Scilla.they can be grown freely in normal soils.

Cultivation: Scilla are perfect for naturalized planting in rock gardens, wild gardens, woodland areas and perennial beds. They can be grown in spring flowering borders or beds. They can be grown in swathes under trees for a theatrical, dramatic look. They may also be grown in urns, tubs and pots. They prefer full sun but do well in partial shade too. They are capable of growing in a variety of light exposures although good sunlight results in the most effective growth. They need soil with good drainage. Thus they should be planted in those areas where soil is well-drained and moist. The drainage of soil can be improved by the addition of peat moss and sand. They should be planted three inches deep and four inches part. The bulbs should be planted by keeping the points on the round bulb facing upside. The plant should be watered and kept moist all the time. These bulbs should be planted in early fall. the flowers can be cut and kept in vases or bouquets. Once the flowers wither the foliage should be yellow and die back. One should not interrupt in these cases. But the foliage should be removed as soon as it dies by slowly pulling it out of the soil. Now the seed falls in dormancy. These plants can also be forced indoor in tubs and pots. Some species like Peruviana should be planted in big pots and the bulbs should be left for few seasons for them to grow into big clumps. However, other species  of Scilla can be planted smaller pots. It is advisable to plant Scilla in a vase which contains other flowers that bloom early in the season like daffodils. As the season changes and the foliage begins to wither and die, the foliage can be pulled out of the vase. The bulb now goes back to dormancy.

Uses: Scilla was used during the pre historic times in many places of Europe and Asia. It is known that Scilla had been in use by many scientists from around the globe before the time of Christ. In the third century B.C, Theophrastus is known to have used this plant for medicinal purposes. This plant was famous in Greek among the physicians long time back. Arabian physicians also used this plant to cure diseases during the medieval period.

Different people like homer, Pliny and Dioscorides are known to be acquainted with this plant. Since a long time back, the different species of plants under the genus Scilla was used to cure disease like cough, asthma and renal congestion.

The species belonging to the genus Scilla, Scilla siberica was used in medieval periods as a diuretic. A chemical in this flower is known to stimulate the kidney and hence increase the output of urine. Scilla is also used as a cardiac tonic. It is known to slow or increase the pulse rate and is used to cure cardiac dropsy. The uses for this plant does not stop here. It is also widely used to cure chronic bronchitis and asthma. However, Scilla is also known to cause the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. Thus it is mixed with other chemicals for use as a medicine. The chemicals found in Scilla are also known cause strong swelling of genito-urinary tracts and gastro-intestinal tracts. It can cause vomiting and convulsion if the eaten dose is high. It is known to be poisonous and can result in death if eaten in high quantity.


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