Sunday, May 20, 2007

Scilla Hispanica

Scilla Hispanica seems to be one of those plants who has a somewhat confused nomenclature, through no fault of its own. Even the common name varies depending on who you read ... it's sometimes called Wood Hyacinth (what it was called when I bought ours), Spanish Bluebells and sometimes it's even confused with English Bluebells (to which it appears related, but it's not the same species).

The main source of confusion appears to be whether it belongs to the Hyacinthoides or Scilla
genus, though I think of it as more aligned with the Scilla (of which there are quite a few species) even though its flowers are a far cry from one of our other favorites, the very early blooming Siberian Squill. In any case, Scilla hispanica is a great addition to bulb plantings ... it blooms long after the Siberian squill has left the scene, usually coming into bloom after the tulips have finished as well. It's bigger than other Squills, usually reaching about 8-10 inches once the flowers appear. Ours was quite proliferous until this past week, when they pretty much wound down for the year, but at least it wasn't up yet when the big deep freeze happened so it wasn't as damaged as it could have been, though I don't think the flowers were quite as numerous this year as they were last. It's easy to see why they're often referred to as Bluebells due to their nodding bell-shaped flowers, but to my mind the real bluebells are the Virginia Bluebells, perhaps my favorite flower of childhood.

In any case, no matter what you call them, they're an easy, beautiful bulb to grow in your garden ... once the initial digging and planting is done, there's not much else you have to do but be patient for their time to arrive in the garden, which they do faithfully year after year.

This photo was taken last week (courtesy of Fernymoss) and was about the last of the clumps (we have 100 planted in various spots around the garden) to bloom this year. You can see our ever growing bed of Lysimachia (yellow variety with burgundy leaves) in the background.

5 comments:

olivia said...

Love all the blue flowers you have :) ... these are lovely.

Family Man said...

I agree with Olivia. Lovely flowers.

When I first saw them I thought Bluebells.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Well you two well know how we favor the blue in the garden! I'm so glad we got these back in 2005 and I still maintain I got a mistake/bargain from the supplier ... 100 bulbs for $5.99!! We put them everywhere, and were getting worn out trying to find more places to plant them, lol. But they're real beauties and we really look forward to them springing into bloom after the other bulbs have finished their show ... they make a great transitional flower into the mid-late spring period and couldn't be easier to maintain. Once the planting is done, just let them bloom, the foliage dies back and nothing to clean up. Yep, almost a slackerly plant, eh FM?

olivia said...

100 for 5.99! WOW!

FARfetched said...

My sage is blooming, and the flowers look very much like these....