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Spring Squill

Scilla verna

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Gardens, grassland, meadows, rocky places, seaside, woodland.

Blue, 6 petals
Sky-blue to violet-blue flowers, 6 petals arranged on each flower in a star-shaped formation. The flowers are not joined together. They appear together in small clusters of 6-10 at the top of leafless, erect spikes. Each flower has a bluish bract at its base. Flowers are up to 1.5cm across.
The deep violet fruit are 6-chambered.
Very narrow, linear, grass-like, curved leaves, appearing before the flowers in spring.
Other Names:
Sea Onions, Wood Squill.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Scilla verna, also known as "Spring Squill" or "Wood Squill," is a small perennial bulbous plant that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Asparagaceae family. This plant typically grows to a height of 10-20 cm and has narrow, linear leaves and small, blue or purple flowers. It typically blooms in early spring, usually before the leaves appear. It is commonly found in woodlands, meadows, and along rocky slopes. S. verna is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions and is often used in rock gardens and as an early spring groundcover. The bulbs are poisonous and should not be ingested.


Spring Squill, also known as Scilla verna, is a charming little plant that belongs to the family Asparagaceae. This perennial herb is native to southern Europe, where it is commonly found growing in meadows, rocky hillsides, and along the edges of woods. It is a popular garden plant in many parts of the world, thanks to its delicate, bell-shaped flowers and its ability to thrive in a wide range of growing conditions.

The Spring Squill has slender, grass-like leaves that grow in basal rosettes, and delicate stems that can reach up to 15cm in height. The flowers, which appear in early spring, are typically pale blue or violet, although they can also be white, pink, or even red. They are arranged in dense clusters, each one consisting of six petals that are fused at the base to form a tube.

One of the most striking features of the Spring Squill is its ability to grow in a variety of soil types and moisture levels. It can be found growing in everything from dry, rocky soil to moist, loamy soil, and is often seen growing in areas that are subject to frequent flooding or drought. This adaptability makes it a popular choice for gardeners looking for a hardy, low-maintenance plant that can add color and interest to their landscapes.

In addition to its ornamental value, the Spring Squill also has a number of practical uses. The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and digestive problems. It is also a popular ingredient in homeopathic remedies and is believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system.

Despite its many virtues, the Spring Squill is not without its challenges. In some areas, the plant is considered invasive, and it can quickly spread and take over large areas if left unchecked. It is therefore important for gardeners to be careful when planting Spring Squill and to take steps to control its growth if necessary.

Spring Squill is a delightful little plant that is well worth considering for anyone looking to add a splash of color and interest to their garden. With its delicate flowers, hardy nature, and adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions, it is sure to be a welcome addition to any landscape.

Here are some more interesting facts about Spring Squill:

  • The name Scilla comes from the ancient Greek mythological figure Scylla, a sea monster with six heads. The name is thought to refer to the six petals on the plant's flowers.

  • Spring Squill is one of the first plants to bloom in early spring, often appearing in March or April, depending on the location.

  • The plant is pollinated by bees and other insects, which are attracted to its sweet nectar.

  • Spring Squill is a protected species in some parts of Europe, where it is considered endangered due to habitat loss and over-harvesting for use in traditional medicine.

  • The plant is relatively easy to grow and requires little maintenance. It can be propagated by seed or by dividing the bulbs.

  • Spring Squill is not only beautiful but also useful in the garden, as it can help to suppress weeds and improve soil health by adding organic matter.

  • The plant is also known for its ability to naturalize, meaning that it can spread and establish itself in an area without the need for human intervention.

  • In addition to its medicinal uses, Spring Squill has also been used in cooking. The young leaves and bulbs can be eaten raw or cooked and have a slightly sweet, onion-like flavor.

Overall, Spring Squill is a versatile and attractive plant that is well-suited to a variety of garden settings. Whether used as a ground cover, a border plant, or a naturalizer, it is sure to add beauty and interest to any landscape.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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