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Siberian squill (Scilla siberica)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Scilla
Synonyms list
    • 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/) is a genus of about 50 to 80[2] species of bulb-forming perennial herbaceous plants in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae.[3] Sometimes called the squills in English,[4] they are 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. Several Scilla species are valued as ornamental garden plants.


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

The precise number of Scilla species in the genus depends on which proposals to split the genus are accepted. 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]

The common bluebell of British and European bluebell woods, still occasionally referred to by a former name, Scilla non-scripta, is now known as Hyacinthoides non-scripta. 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 March 2020, Plants of the World Online accepted the following species:[8]

A hybrid has been named:

Formerly included[edit]

Cultivation and uses[edit]

Many Scilla species, notably S. siberica and members of section Chionodoxa, are grown in gardens for their attractive early spring flowers.


  1. ^ a b Scilla L., Sp. Pl.: 308 (1753), Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ WCSP (2018), World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2018-05-09, search for "Scilla"
  3. ^ Stevens, P.F., Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Scilloideae
  4. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book (1995), Leisure Arts, pp. 606–607, ISBN 0376038519
  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
  8. ^ "Scilla L." Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 2020-03-19.