Scilla bifolia (Alpine Squill)

Scientific Name

Scilla bifolia L.

Common Names

Alpine Squill, Two-leaf Squill

Synonyms

Adenoscilla bifolia, Adenoscilla nivalis, Adenoscilla unifolia, Anthericum bifolium, Genlisa bifolia, Hyacinthus bifolius, Ornithogalum bifolium, Rinopodium bifolia, Scilla buekkensis, Scilla bulgarica, Scilla carnea, Scilla chladnii, Scilla concinna, Scilla decidua, Scilla dedea, Scilla drunensis, Scilla dubia, Scilla hohenackeri, Scilla laxa, Scilla longistylosa, Scilla lusitanica, Scilla minor, Scilla nivalis, Scilla pleiophylla, Scilla pneumonanthe, Scilla praecox, Scilla pruinosa, Scilla resslii, Scilla rosea, Scilla secunda, Scilla spetana, Scilla subnivalis, Scilla trifolia, Scilla uluensis, Scilla vernalis, Scilla xanthandra, Stellaris bifolia

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Tribe: Hyacintheae
Subtribe: Hyacinthinae
Genus: Scilla

Flower

Color: Deep violet-blue
Bloom Time: Early to late spring

Description

Scilla bifolia is a herbaceous perennial growing from an underground bulb up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) across. There are two or rarely three lance-shaped, curved, fleshy and shiny leaves. The bases of the leaves clasp up to about the half of the stem. The flowering stems are erect and unbranched, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. The raceme bears 6 to 10 flowers, each up to 0.4 inch (1 cm) across. The flowers are upward-facing, unlike the nodding flowers of Scilla siberica. They bloom from early to late spring. The 6 tepals are deep violet-blue, more rarely white, pink, or purple. The fruit is a capsule up to 0.3 inch (8 mm) across.

Scilla bifolia - Аlpine Squill
Photo via treknature.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Scilla is adapted to full sun or dappled shade and likes well-drained soil. It naturally grows in rocky wooded areas, so it is just at home in dryish semi-wild parts of the landscape as it is in a rich, moist garden bed. Bulbs should be planted in fall. Plant the bulbs in loose soil three to four inches deep and 8 inches (20 cm) apart with the tapered end pointed up. Scilla should receive regular water during the spring flush of growth. However, since the weather tends to be cool and moist during this time, it is generally not necessary to irrigate. In fact, it is important to not over water, as the bulbs can rot.

The foliage should be left after the flowers fade, though it, too, fades in the heat of summer. Once Scilla leaves are all yellow they may be cut to the ground, and the plant allowed to remain dormant until the following spring. It is important that the bulbs not be watered during the dormant period… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Scilla.

Origin

Native to Europe and western Russia south through Turkey to Syria.

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