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Scilla verna (spring squill)

A hardy spring bulb with attractive blue-violet flowers, spring squill is native to western Europe.
Scilla verna flower

Scilla verna (spring squill)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Scilla verna Huds.

Common name: 

spring squill, spring-flowered squill, sea onion

Conservation status: 

Not assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Short, dry, lime-rich grassland, and vegetated or rocky sea cliffs or maritime heath.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental.

Known hazards: 

The whole plant is poisonous, and ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cardiac problems and in some cases death.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Lilianae
Order: 
Asparagales
Family: 
Asparagaceae
Genus: Scilla

About this species

Scilla verna is found in exposed coastal habitats around much of the western and northern coasts of western Europe and along the eastern coast of Ireland. It is one of only two squills native to the UK, the other being the autumn-flowering Scilla autumnalis (autumn squill).

Spring squill is a member of the Asparagaceae (subfamily Scilloideae). The generic name Scilla derives from the Greek skilla, which became the Latin scilla and was the ancient Greek name for another squill (Urginea maritima). The specific epithet verna comes from vernum, Latin for spring.

Although it can grow in large colonies in the wild, Scilla verna is an attractive ornamental species that can be appreciated as a specimen plant in containers and in rock gardens. It can also be planted densely in lawns to produce a carpet of blue flowers in spring.

Synonym: 

Scilla vernalis Salisb., Petranthe verna (Huds.) Salisb., Stellaris verna (Huds.) Bubani, Oncostema verna (Huds.) Speta, Tractema verna (Huds.) Speta. Full list available on the World Checklist.

Genus: 
Scilla

main info

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