Puschkinia: striped squill
Height 10-15cm (4-6in)
Planting distance 5-7.5cm (2-3in)
Flowers early to late spring
Sun or light shade
Bulbs available in autumn
Puschkinia scilloides (syn.P. Liba-notica) is the only available member of this hardy genus from the mountains of eastern Turkey and Iran. It is a fine spring-that deserves to be seen more often.
Its clusters of bell-shaped, hyacinth-likeare an unusual pale icy blue with a creamy centre and a dark blue stripe on the inside of each petal; a white form ‘Album’ without blue stripes is sometimes available. Two leaves, mid-green and strap-shaped, appear at flowering time.
As the plants are only 10-15cm (4-6in) high, they look most effective at the front of a border, in a rockery, or in a sink garden or outdoor container. ‘Album’ is best grown against a background of dark foliage to set off its discreet flowers.
Plant in autumn in well-drained humus-rich soil in an open position in sun or light shade. Set the bulbs 5-7.5cm (2-3in) deep and 5-7.5cm (2-3in) apart. Leave undisturbed for several years.
When the foliage dies down in summer, lift, divide and replant overcrowded clumps.
Pests and diseases
Slugs sometimes eat the bulbs, stems and leaves. Disease is not usually a problem.