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Bluebell Bulbs

Useful Info And History For The Home Gardener



SQUILLS

Squills are delicate six-petal flowers, generally blue – aside from the White Siberian Squill – which have been brought to Britain centuries ago and have adapted very well to its soils and oceanic climate. Squills come from a variety of geographical regions and climatic conditions, some requiring well-drained soils and sunlight exposure whilst others grow well in the shade and require a moderate or high level of moisture. Many species have originally been found in mountainous regions across the world, such as the Pyrenees, Alps and Balkans, slightly varying in shape and colour, as well as optimal growing conditions, yet preserving their loveliness and unmistakable effect in open spaces, of an exquisite blue carpet growing freely amidst the grass.

Siberian Squill - Scilla siberica

Origin: Russia, the Caucasus, Turkey

Flowering: March, April

Producing five lovely flowers per stem, this variety is not particular in terms of soils, its only requirement being enough moisture to sustain the bulbs, which excludes exceedingly dry patches. In Britain however, humidity should not be a problem. Its flowers, which bloom early in the season, are bell shaped and of an intense shade of blue.

White Siberian Squill - Scilla siberica alba

Origin: Russia, the Caucasus, Turkey

Flowering: March, April

Identical in terms of shape and optimal conditions with Scilla siberica, it only differs in colour, its petals being pure white. When naturalising these plants, a combination of the two is recommended, as they look particularly charming.

Alpine Squill - Scilla bifolia

Origin: The Alps

Flowering: February, March

Modest in height and dainty looking, this plant produces a handful of intensely coloured violet flowers per stem, which only grows up to four inches. It is ideal for naturalising and also for combining with other plants. It blooms early in the season.

Turkish SquillScilla bithynica

Origin: The Black Sea region

Flowering: March, April

Encountered in Eastern Europe, around the Black Sea, it resembles the Bluebell and has adapted well to the British climate, where it can nowadays be found in the wild, particularly in woodlands. Although it naturalises well and creates enchanting patches of intense blue, it is seldom found on the market nowadays. It is known to prefer damp soils.

Pyrenean SquillScilla liliohyacinthus

Origin: The Pyrenees

Flowering: Late April

Originating, as the name suggests, from the Pyrenees, this squill variety thrives in cool and damp patches of land which mimic its mountainous native environment. Blooming in mid season, it graces any area with its gentle flowers and glossy foliage.

Scilla litardieri

Origin: West Balkans

Flowering: May, June

Preferring dry soils and plenty sunlight exposure, this eastern plant blooms after the spring season, creating wonderful patches of delicate blue flowers in the wild, much like similar species in Britain and abroad. It comes from a mountainous region and lasts well into the summer.

Striped Squill - Puschkinia scilloides

Origin: The Middle East

Flowering: March, April

Also native to a mountainous environment, this species grows well in partial shade yet in full sunlight as well. Its blooms boast two shades of the same colour – a pastel blue with a dark blue stripe, hence the name. It’s not too particular with regards to soils; however it prefers well-drained patches.

Italian Squill – Hyacinthoides italica

Origin: Italy

Flowering: April

Originally found in Italy’s woodlands, this species is unique as it produces clumps of star-shaped blue flowers. Another particular aspect is that it doesn’t seem to cross with native species to produce hybrids. It flowers in mid season, in April.