Scilla bifolia -an appreciation

Jane McGary
Mon, 12 Mar 2012 09:24:39 PDT
Like Jim Waddick I have enough space in the garden to appreciate 
Scilla bifolia, which probably seeds more enthusiastically here than 
in the Midwest. It isn't a well-known plant to local gardeners, who 
ask me for it despite my warning that it spreads. Like the common 
kinds of Muscari, it is best grown under shrubs, and I also have it 
in a lawn area where other bulbs grow.

I had the "pink" form for a while but discarded it because the color 
is unattractive, which is true of the pink forms of many normally 
blue-flowered plants. Good pinks exist in hyacinths, though. The 
white S. bifolia is nice enough, but my preference at this time of 
year is usually for color. White Chionodoxa is very pretty and 
increases very rapidly.

Flowering in the bulb house is a plant received as Scilla taurica, 
which I think is actually a subspecies of S. siberica. It has a more 
copious inflorescence than typical S. siberica and should do well in 
the open garden now that I have time to put it there next summer. 
Another large scilla I enjoy at this time of year is S. greilhuberi, 
which does have messy, lax foliage but pretty mid-blue flowers with 
long exserted anthers.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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