Friday, April 15, 2016

Scilla siberica

After weeks of false Spring, I think the snow and winter are finally behind us.  The road postings have come down, the street sweepers are out and things are finally starting to green up here at Bonin Architects.  I've even seen a few daffodils blooming down by the Follansbee Inn on Kezar Lake.  Driving down Main Street this week I noticed the tiny blue flowers of Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica) growing under a Locust tree.  I stopped to snap a few pictures so I could share a little about the plant with you all.
Siberian Squill, despite the taxonomy, is not native to Siberia.  It is however native to Russia and areas along the Europe-Asia border.  It is an introduced species to the Northeastern United State and Canada and can survive in zones 2-8.  These little guys are good and hardy around here.  They have made it thought a few light frosts here in recent days just fine.
Siberian Squill needs full to partial sunlight and does well in moist areas.  True to form, I found this colony in a low-lying spot on the North side of the street which gets good sun.  Getting good sun isn't particularly hard this time of year without leaves on the trees yet.  They won't get much taller than shown here.  Typically they are between 4-8 inches.  Flowers can last around 3 weeks and foliage usually dies back by early summer.
Siberian Squill is a member of the Lily family (Liliaceae) and like Lilies, are typically propagated by bulb.  The plants naturalize well, spreading easily in the right conditions.  It is important to be thoughtful when selecting them for your garden as it has been classified as invasive in Minnesota.  Make sure it won't become a nuisance to you garden and check your state's restricted plants list before planting.