Scilla (Siberian Squill)

Scilla flower’s delicate look belies the bulb’s hardiness

While not as well-known as daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths, your spring garden will have added depth and interest with the addition of scilla bulbs. Referred to by a variety of names including Siberian squill, twin leaf squill, wood hyacinths, alpine squill, Portuguese squill, and Spanish bluebells, scilla is a genus of mostly spring flowering perennial bulbs. Naturalized in North America, the genus includes flowers that are bell shaped or starry depending on the variety. As with all spring bulbs, they look most striking in the garden and landscape when they are planted en masse. The appearance of flowers on Siberian squill and scilla present uniquely, too. There’s so much to love in this effortless-to-grow bulb genus.

Scilla and Siberian squill flowers are traditionally blue with sword-shaped, narrow basal laves. When selecting your scilla bulb variety, pay close attention to your USDA Hardiness Zone. These versatile blooming bulbs can be extremely cold-hardy and appear in early spring or have more tender characteristics and are recommended for more temperate Zones where they bloom later in spring. Plan for rotating flushes of blooms by timing their appearance to coordinate with your other spring bulbs. Siberian squill and scilla bulbs are short in stature so make terrific first row bulbs in your spring garden and border. They’re hardy and unappealing to rabbits and deer and have few problems with disease or pests. Some scilla and Siberian squill bulb varieties naturalize and self-seed easily while others will perform best when you replace them every few years.