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For other uses, see Scilla (disambiguation).
Blausternchen 2.jpg
Siberian Squill (Scilla siberica)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Scilla
  • Stellaris Fabr.
  • Stellaster Heist. ex Fabr
  • Lilio-Hyacinthus Ortega
  • Epimenidion Raf.
  • Ioncomelos Raf.
  • Lagocodes Raf.
  • Oncostema Raf.
  • Tractema Raf.
  • Genlisa Raf.
  • Chionodoxa Boiss.
  • Nectaroscilla Parl.
  • Adenoscilla Gren. & Godr.
  • Basaltogeton Salisb.
  • Hylomenes Salisb.
  • Monocallis Salisb.
  • Othocallis Salisb.
  • Petranthe Salisb.
  • Rinopodium Salisb.
  • Caloscilla Jord. & Fourr.
  • × Chionoscilla J.Allen ex Nicholson
  • Apsanthea Jord. in C.T.A.Jordan & J.P.Fourreau
  • Autonoe (Webb & Berthel.) Speta
  • Chouardia Speta
  • Pfosseria Speta
  • Schnarfia Speta

Scilla (/ˈsɪlə/; Squill)[2] is a genus of about 50 to 80[3] bulb-forming perennial herbs in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae,[4] native to woodlands, subalpine meadows, and seashores throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle-East. A few species are also naturalized in Australia, New Zealand and North America.[1][5][6] Their flowers are usually blue, but white, pink, and purple types are known; most flower in early spring, but a few are autumn-flowering.


Scilla has most recently been classified as belonging to the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae; the subfamily was formerly treated as a separate family, Hyacinthaceae.[7] Prior to that it was placed in the Hyacintheae tribe of the Liliaceae family.

The precise number of Scilla species in the genus depends on which proposals to split the genus are accepted. For a discussion of the relationship of Scilla to the closely related genus, Chionodoxa, see that page. Other proposals separate particularly the Eurasian species into a number of smaller genera such as Othocallis Salisb., e.g. Scilla siberica would become Othocallis siberica.[citation needed]

Several African species previously classified in Scilla have been removed to the genus Ledebouria. The best known of these is the common houseplant still sometimes known as Scilla violacea but now properly Ledebouria socialis.[citation needed]


As of November 2011, the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families accepts 81 species:[3]

  1. Scilla achtenii De Wild.
  2. Scilla africana Borzì & Mattei
  3. Scilla albanica Turrill
  4. Scilla amoena L. – Star Squill, Star Hyacinth
  5. Scilla andria Speta
  6. Scilla antunesii Engl.
  7. Scilla arenaria Baker
  8. Scilla begoniifolia A.Chev.
  9. Scilla benguellensis Baker
  10. Scilla berthelotii Webb & Berthel.
  11. Scilla bifolia L. – Alpine Squill
  12. Scilla bithynica Boiss. – Bithynian Squill
  13. Scilla bussei Dammer
  14. Scilla chlorantha Baker
  15. Scilla ciliata Baker
  16. Scilla cilicica Siehe
  17. Scilla congesta Baker
  18. Scilla cretica (Boiss. & Heldr.) Speta
  19. Scilla cydonia Speta
  20. Scilla dimartinoi Brullo & Pavone
  21. Scilla dualaensis Poelln.
  22. Scilla engleri T.Durand & Schinz
  23. Scilla flaccidula Baker
  24. Scilla forbesii (Baker) Speta syn. Chionodoxa forbesii
  25. Scilla gabunensis Baker
  26. Scilla gracillima Engl.
  27. Scilla haemorrhoidalis Webb & Berthel.
  28. Scilla hildebrandtii Baker
  29. Scilla huanica Poelln.
  30. Scilla hyacinthoides L.
  31. Scilla ingridiae Speta
  32. Scilla jaegeri K.Krause
  33. Scilla katendensis De Wild.
  34. Scilla kladnii Schur
  35. Scilla kurdistanica Speta
  36. Scilla lakusicii ?ilic
  37. Scilla latifolia Willd. ex Schult. & Schult.f.
  38. Scilla laxiflora Baker
  39. Scilla ledienii Engl.
  40. Scilla leepii Speta
  41. Scilla libanotica Speta
  42. Scilla lilio-hyacinthus L. – Pyrenean Squill
  43. Scilla litardierei Breistr., syn. Chouardia litardierei, Scilla amethystina, Scilla pratensis, Scilla albanica, Scilla italica – Amethyst Meadow Squill, Dalmatian Scilla
  44. Scilla lochiae (Meikle) Speta
  45. Scilla luciliae (Boiss.) Speta
  46. Scilla lucis Speta
  47. Scilla madeirensis Menezes – Madeiran Squill
  48. Scilla melaina Speta
  49. Scilla merinoi S.Ortiz
  50. Scilla mesopotamica Speta
  51. Scilla messeniaca Boiss.
  52. Scilla mischtschenkoana Grossh., syn. Scilla tubergeniana – Tubergen Squill
  53. Scilla monanthos K.Koch
  54. Scilla monophyllos Link
  55. Scilla morrisii Meikle
  56. Scilla nana (Schult. & Schult.f.) Speta
  57. Scilla odorata Link
  58. Scilla oubangluensis Hua
  59. Scilla paui Lacaita
  60. Scilla peruviana L. – Portuguese Squill, Corymbose Squill, Cuban Lily
  61. Scilla petersii Engl.
  62. Scilla platyphylla Baker
  63. Scilla ramburei Boiss.
  64. Scilla reuteri Speta
  65. Scilla rosenii K.Koch
  66. Scilla sardensis (Whittall ex Barr & Sayden) Speta
  67. Scilla schweinfurthii Engl.
  68. Scilla seisumsiana Rukšans & Zetterl.
  69. Scilla siberica Haw. – Siberian squill
  70. Scilla simiarum Baker
  71. Scilla sodalicia N.E.Br.
  72. Scilla tayloriana Rendle
  73. Scilla textilis Rendle
  74. Scilla uyuiensis Rendle.
  75. Scilla verdickii De Wild.
  76. Scilla verna Huds. – Spring Squill
  77. Scilla villosa Desf.
  78. Scilla vindobonensis Speta
  79. Scilla voethorum Speta
  80. Scilla welwitschii Poelln.
  81. Scilla werneri De Wild.

Formerly included[edit]

Scilla peruviana[edit]

Scilla peruviana is of interest for its name; it is a native of southwest Europe, not of Peru. When Carl Linnaeus described the species in 1753, he was given specimens imported from Spain aboard a ship named Peru, and was misled into thinking the specimens had come from that country. The rules of botanical naming do not allow a scientific name to be changed merely because it is potentially confusing.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Many species, notably S. siberica, are grown in gardens for their attractive early spring flowers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Scilla L., Sp. Pl.: 308 (1753), Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book (1995), Leisure Arts, pp. 606–607, ISBN 0376038519
  3. ^ a b WCSP (2011), World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2011-11-08 , search for "Scilla"
  4. ^ Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Scilloideae 
  5. ^ Flora of North America, Scilla Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 308. 1753,
  6. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Scilla includes European distribution maps
  7. ^ Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009), "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae", Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161 (2): 132–136, doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x 

External links[edit]