Scilla bifolia 'Rosea'
Common Name: scilla
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer

Culture

Easily grown in humusy, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. May be planted under deciduous trees where plants will receive full sun at bloom time in early spring prior to the time when the tree leaves appear. Performs well in average garden soils. Thrives in sandy loams. Plant the bulb bases 3-4" deep and 2-3" apart in fall. Bulbs may be scattered somewhat haphazardly into large drifts. Foliage will disappear by summer as plant goes dormant. Plants will spread by offsets and self-seeding.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Scilla bifolia, commonly called scilla or alpine squill, is a bulbous perennial of the asparagus family that typically grows to 3-6" tall. It is native to lower mountain areas from central and southern Europe south to Turkey and Syria. Each bulb usually produces two (infrequently 3 or 4), linear, 3-6" long basal leaves (hence the specific epithet which means having two leaves) and 1 to 6 upright unbranched scapes each of which is topped in early spring (March-April) with a one-sided 2-10 flowered raceme of starry gentian-blue flowers (each to 1/2" across). Each flower has six spreading petal-like tepals. RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Additional common names for this plant include two-leaved squill and twin leaf squill.

Genus name comes from the Greek name skilla for sea-squill.

Specific epithet means twin-leaved.

'Rosea' has pink flowers.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Crown rot may occur in moist but poorly drained soils.

Garden Uses

Provides intense blue color to the rock garden or border front. Effective when massed in front of or around shrubs or trees, or planted in large groupings with other early spring bulbs. Mass in sweeping drifts in woodland, wild or naturalized areas. May be naturalized in lawns. Rock gardens. Edging. Cottage gardens.