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Classification, origin and description
Common name: Scylla
Typology: Perennials, Bulbose
Propagation: division, seed
Etymology: the name Scilla is an ancient Greek word used by Hippocrates and means to hurt, to harm, with allusion to the poisonousness of the bulbs of some species.
The genus includes a hundred species. Some are rustic and easy to grow in the garden, others are greenhouse only. flowering is generally spring, but some S. bloom in autumn. The diffusion area extends from Europe to China, through Persia and Asia, with a point in Algeria. In Italy several species are spontaneous: litalica, bifolia, lamoena, campanulata, lintermedia, maritima, hyacinthoides in addition to natans or non-scripta, Peruvian and autumnalis which are very interesting for the garden.
Scilla maritima bulbs (website photo)
Peruvian squill L. (photo www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca)
False Hyacinth Scilla siberica Andr. (photo https://rockydale.wordpress.com)
How it is grown
It prefers humus-rich soils, in the shade or in the sun, although it is preferable to give it a partial shade exposure. It multiplies by division of the bulbs, when they are at rest; or from seed, sowing in a cold greenhouse or in lettorino, in spring, but the procedure is much longer.
Species and varieties
- Scilla maritima L. (Synonym Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, 1978, Urgina maritima Steinth.): Originally from Southern Europe and spontaneous in Sicily. It is a poisonous species. The 1-2m floral scape appears in late summer when the leaves are dried out. The flowers, arranged in a raceme, have perigonium formed by 6 greenish-white tepals
- Scilla non-scripta Hoffm. Link. (Synonym S. nutans): spontaneous or wild plant in some north-central regions. It generally grows in the woods, and in spring forms beautiful blue rugs, often very large. In gardens it can be cultivated as a spontaneous flower, to be naturalized in the meadows, near shrubs or trees. It has pale green, long and thin leaves, pendulous, bell-shaped flowers, carried in large numbers on rigid stems, up to 40 tall. cm, with blue sepals; there are also forms with white or pink flowers, generally perfumed.
- Peruvian squill L .: it grows in the arid and stony places of the Mediterranean regions. Easy to cultivate, it blooms in late spring, with flowers in a lilac spike, star-shaped, and lanceolate leaves, rather fleshy. There is also a white-flowered variety.
- Scilla siberica Andr .: species native to Asia Minor, it has been cultivated since the eighteenth century. Also called Falso Giacinto, it has blue flowers. The bulbs can be forced early flowering. There are some hybrids with larger flowers, dark blue, bright blue and pure white.
Diseases, pests and adversities
They are plants sensitive to root rot and bulbs.