Scilla peruviana
Fri, 08 Aug 2008 09:41:00 PDT
Scilla peruviana seems to require fairly specific environmental conditions to 
flower consistently. I have a long-established patch of it that flowers and 
sets modest amounts of seed every year. Yet some 60 miles away on Vancouver's 
North Shore, Scilla peruviana will not flower, according to complaints 
published in the Bulletin of the Alpine Garden Club of BC.

My own planting is at the foot of the south wall of my white stucco house, in 
full sun, fairly heavy soil, but not one of those horrible sticky gumbo marine 
clays so common in Victoria. It goes bone dry in summer and gets only natural 
precipitation: some rain in fall and spring, heaviest rain November through 
February. Temperatures are moderate. Wintertime temperature hovers at 42F day 
and night, with occasional swings both colder and (more rarely) warmer. In 
summer, a day over 70F is a warm day, but reflected sunlight makes the planting 
something of a hot spot.

Wintertime drainage is fairly good as the planting is only a meter from my 
house; the perimeter drains work efficiently, and backfill around the 
foundation seems to be more permeable than the native soil further out in the 

The planting is next to a concrete walk, so there may be signfiicant lime in 
the soil.

For details of temperature and weather at Victoria, see

Unfortunately, I am unable to find any climatic data for North Vancouver, so a 
verbal description is necessary.

Being on a windward mountain slope, North Vancouver gets signficiantly more 
rainfall than Victoria, the amount increasing with altitude. I believe it is 
both wetter and cloudier in summer, colder in winter, and probably about the 
same temperature in summer.

The key factors seem to be (1) not just full sunshine, but reflected light and 
warmth from the house wall; (2) totally dry summers; (3) some protection from 
the worst of winter cold, by virtue both of proximity to the house and the 
shelter it offers from icy north & northeast winds.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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