Scilla bifolia

Jim McKenney
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 10:25:47 PST
Let me add my praise for Scilla bifolia to that given by Jim Waddick. 

This little favorite got off to a bad start in my garden. Decades ago, I had
ordered Chionodoxa sardensis; when the bulbs bloomed, I realized I had been
taken. I knew what the new arrivals were, but at the time I had my heart set
on the really gorgeous color of Chionodoxa sardensis, and by comparison the
Scilla bifolia were not only smaller but duller. 

As the years pass, my affection for this little squill only grows. It does
take card of itself, and seeds around unobtrusively. It's a very early
bloomer here, earlier here than most Chionodoxa, but not by much. In fact,
the hybrid sometimes called x Chionoscilla allenii has appeared here
spontaneously. If you have ever wondered what the difference between Scilla
and Chionodoxa is, there's your answer: nothing significant. They hybridize
on their own. 

The other early blooming blue squill, Scilla sibirica, is not permanent
here: it persists indefinitely, but sooner or later disappears. It does
self-sow a bit, but I've never had a colony which I considered permanent. 

The third squill which blooms here with them is S. mischtschenkoana; this
one is reliable and with its much larger white flowers much more conspicuous
than the blue ones. 

All of these are still in bloom here, but just barely. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where the winds have dried
out the garden and caused the water level in the pool to drop several

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of James Waddick
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 9:27 AM
To: Pacific Bulb Society
Subject: [pbs] Scilla bifolia

Dear All;
	As the weather rips through the garden and turns blooms and 
bloom seasons topsy-turvy there is one item to point out.
	Years a go my friend, the late Dodo Denney, waxed over the 
tiny Scilla bifolia until I bought a few bulbs in typical blue or all 
white. The white were weak growers and soon faded, and the small size 
got them kind of lost in the garden, but to my surprise they have 
self sown here and there-actually far and wide and even at their tiny 
size, and stand out in the bleaker areas of the garden and in the 
snow, hail and rain.

	I went to the wiki pages to offer a picture and found no 
entry! A quick Google brought up thousands of hits (naturally) 
including S.b."Rosea' which I now recall also bit the dust.  So it 
may merit description and discussion.

	As the name suggests it has 2 tiny leaves held at an angle 
(rabbit ears), but between 2  - 4 inches tall and narrow. The flower 
is in a very dense spike of tiny star shaped blue 'dots'. Though 
small, the color is bright and the spread out flowers can be seen 
from 6 to 10 ft away so they hold their own.

	Early to bloom, but sort of mid-early (synchronous with 
Chinodoxa 'Pink Giant') they are a mini-treat and seem to hold up to 
the worst our season has to offer. It is not a big show, but a modest 
plant in its own right and for lovers of the tiny a sure fire 

	Does any one else grow this?

		Best	Jim W.
Dr. James W. Waddick
8871 NW Brostrom Rd.
Kansas City Missouri 64152-2711
Ph.    816-746-1949
Zone 5 Record low -23F
	Summer 100F +

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