scilla madeirensis

Michael Benedito
Mon, 30 May 2011 15:51:18 PDT

Im from Madeira and I have seen this plant in the wild. In some places it is almost gone but I know a few colonies which are doing quite well. It blooms in Sep-October in Madeira and during December in Kew which is rather interesting.

My plants at home produce many berries each year and seeds are very easy to germinate. I'm also growing Scilla maderensis var. melliodora, a very rare variant known only to occur in the remote archipelago of selvagens islands, and even here they only grow on the Selvagem pequena, an islet which is less than 1 km square of area. The amazing thing is that the flowers are scented and might be pollinated by endemic lizzards (Lacerta dugesii subsp selvagensis and Tarentola bischofii). The  leaves are more silvery too and i suspect this might be a new species as it differs a lot from the standard form.

They can be grown the same way as heamanthus species.


--- On Mon, 30/5/11, <> wrote:

> From: <>
> Subject: [pbs] scilla madeirensis
> To: "Pacifib Bulb Society  messages" <>
> Date: Monday, 30 May, 2011, 23:35
> Dear All,
> Scilla madeirensis is certainly one of the most beautiful
> winter
> flowering bulbs..... if it flowers and grows well.
> Apparently this bulb
> has such a narrow genetic constitution that is on the brink
> of
> extinction in the wild. It is almost sterile and even wild
> plants are
> said to produce no or very little seed. The reason for this
> is not known
> as far as I am aware of. I wonder what you got as seed
> under this name.
> There were some bulbs for sale when I was in Madeira many
> years ago and
> I bought 2 or three, hoping to have different clones and to
> get
> seed..... but no. I think there was one single seed in all
> these years
> but the seedling did not live very long.
> I find this bulb very difficult to grow. It is one of those
> plants that
> is always missing something: it is either too wet or too
> dry, too cold
> or too warm or too  bright or too shady. Madeira has a
> very mild cool
> moist oceanic climate without extemes , so probably my
> greenhouse gets
> too hot in summer. I am sure it is NOT frost-hardy, my
> plants go limp
> and floppy even a few degrees above freezing.
> At Mike Salmon's former nursery in Britain I have seen a
> magnificent
> plant in bloom a long time ago, something you immediatey
> would want to
> grow at first sight. But Mike had no seed, no offsets. If I
> remember
> correctly this plant in all parts was much much bigger than
> my own bulbs
> even during their best days. I have a feeling that it is a
> different
> plant, a different form of the same species or even another
> relates
> species. Mike's plant was even bigger than than the ones at
> Kew but I do
> not remember where he got it from.
> Maybe it is simply virused? And lacking and losing vigour
> this way? I
> saw huge clumps in many Madeiran garden, but it was not the
> season for
> flowers. If it never sets seed, the only means of
> propagation is
> vegetatively which would ease the spread of virus. Maybe
> this would be
> an interesting object for a good micro-propagator?
> Greetings from summery hot and VERY dry Germany 
>   Uli
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list