Scilla peruviana

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Portuguese squill
Scilla peruviana2.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Scilla
Species: S. peruviana
Binomial name
Scilla peruviana

Scilla peruviana, the Portuguese squill,[1] is a species of Scilla native to the western Mediterranean region in Iberia, Italy, and northwest Africa.[2]

Although the epithet peruviana means "from Peru", it is strictly a western Mediterranean species. Linnaeus named the species in 1753, noting an earlier name given to the plant by Carolus Clusius, Hyacinthus stellatus peruanus.[3] It is said that Clusius misunderstood a statement that the bulbs came from a ship called "Peru" and thought that they came from the country.[4]

It is a bulb-bearing herbaceous perennial plant. The bulb is 6–8 cm diameter, white with a covering of brown scales. The leaves are linear, 20–60 cm long and 1–4 cm broad, with 5-15 leaves produced each spring. The flowering stem is 15–40 cm tall, bearing a dense pyramidal raceme of 40-100 flowers; each flower is blue, 1–2 cm diameter, with six tepals.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant for its spring flowers; several cultivars are available ranging in colour from white to light or dark blue, or violet. In some areas it is also known as hyacinth-of-Peru,[2] Cuban-lily,[2] or Peruvian scilla.


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-02-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17. 
  2. ^ a b c "Scilla peruviana". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Linnaeus, C. (1753). Species Plantarum 1. Stockholm: Laurentius Salvius. p. 309. 
  4. ^ Schauenberg, Paul (1965). The Bulb Book. London: F. Warne. p. 248. OCLC 745287745.