Hyacinthoides italica

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Italian Bluebell
Liliaceae - Hyacinthoides italica.jpg
Inflorescence of a wild Hyacinthoides italica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Hyacinthoides
Species: H. italica
Binomial name
Hyacinthoides italica
(L.) Chouard ex Rothm.
  • Endymion italicus (L.) Chouard
  • Hyacinthus italicus (L.) E.H.L.Krause
  • Ornithogalum spicatum Gaterau
  • Scilla bertolonii Duby
  • Scilla byzantina Poir.
  • Scilla italica L.
  • Scilla pallida Salisb.
  • Scilla pauciflora Link ex Schult. & Schult.
  • Scilla purpurea Mill.
  • Somera italica (L.) Salisb.


Hyacinthoides italica, the Italian bluebell or Italian squill, is a spring-flowering bulbous perennial plant belonging to the family Asparagaceae.[2][3]

It is one of around 11 species in the genus Hyacinthoides, others including the common bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) in northwestern Europe, and the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica) further west in the Iberian Peninsula.[4]


Hyacinthoides italica is up to 10–40 centimetres (3.9–15.7 in) tall. The stem is leafless. It has 3-6 basal lance-shaped leaves, 4–15 millimetres (0.16–0.59 in) wide and 7–15 centimetres (2.8–5.9 in) long. The inflorescence is a dense, conical or pyramid-like raceme with 5-30 bright violet-blue star-like flowers. The flowers have two narrow bracts. Flowering period extends from February to May.[5][6][7]

It is in some respects intermediate between the common and Spanish species in having slender leaves (as in H. non-scripta or even slenderer), but a dense raceme of flowers (as in H. hispanica; not sparse and one-sided as in H. non-scripta).

The Italian bluebell is sometimes used as an ornamental plant. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[8]


This species is native to the central Mediterranean region, in northwestern Italy, in western Liguria, in southern France and in northeastern Spain.[9]


It can be found in olive groves, in dry and stony meadows and in clearings of forests at an elevation up to 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level.



  1. ^ Catalogue of life
  2. ^ International Plant Names Index
  3. ^ Biolib
  4. ^ World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2011-07-05 , search for "Hyacinthoides"
  5. ^ Acta Plantarum
  6. ^ Den virtuella floran
  7. ^ PIGNATTI S., 1982. Flora d'Italia, Edagricole, Bologna
  8. ^ "Hyacinthoides italica". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Altervista
  • Huxley, A. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening vol. 2: 604. Macmillan.