Puschkinia: striped squill

Height 10-15cm (4-6in)

Planting distance 5-7.5cm (2-3in)

Flowers early to late spring

Well-drained humus-rich soil

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-flowering bulb that deserves to be seen more often.

Its clusters of bell-shaped, hyacinth-like flowers are 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.

Cultivation

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.

Propagation

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.

22. February 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Annuals, Biennials, Bulbous Plants, Featured Articles | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Puschkinia: striped squill

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