Sunday, February 25, 2007

Green Thumb Sunday

Scilla peruviana

Giant Squill, Peruvian Hyacinth, Cuban Lily, Caribbean Lily, Star of Peru - all are common names for this unusual beauty, but mostly misnomers. The Giant Squill is native to southern Spain and was first described by the famous taxonomist, Linnaeus (1707-1778). It was named for the first ship to bring bulbs to England, The Peru. It later became naturalized in Cuba and other Caribbean islands, thus its other names.

S. peruviana is hardy to zone 7 (possibly 6), and must be lifted in colder zones. This large bulb is suitable for growing in pots. It likes being planted in a sunny location with its nose peeking out of sandy, well-drained soil and resents being disturbed, once established. If the bulb is lifted and divided, it may skip a year or two of blooming until it becomes established again. There is a short summer dormant period in July, but its foot-high wide blades of foliage are mostly evergreen the rest of the year. Peak bloom period is in May.

I was captivated by this unusual-looking flower and was lucky enough to find the only one at our local Meijer store that had two bulbs in the pot instead of one. As I looked for it online, I see that it is relatively inexpensive as large bulbs go, with prices generally in the $2 range for a single bulb, although they are usually sold in groups of five.

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ACey said...

love this plant and was happy to see it featured. I had one in a former garden and was obliged to leave it behind. This post inspires me to grow it again even though it will have to be lifted through the winter, etc.

Carol Michel said...

I like this Scilla, a lovely blue, which can be a difficult flower color to find in the garden.

RUTH said...

This looks a fabulous plant....a bit more special than our Scilla

Gotta Garden said...

I like the way you do this! Very informative!

Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

Wow, what a lovely Scilla. What fun that the bulbs were not all that expensive. A very unusual flower!

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