Our winters are always much too long, and springs never come soon enough. These extra-early wake-uppers can be life savers. They start flowering long before most perennials, shrubs and trees. Cold weather doesn’t bother them. Scilla siberica (also known as Siberian squill or spring beauty) is one of the first of the spring ephemerals to come up in April. Even if the ground is frozen, scilla manages to push its way up to greet the sun.

Scilla in TorontoEvery year, you can see this stunning early spring display at the corner of Rosedale Valley Road and Park Road in Toronto.

The cobalt blossoms of scilla are one of nature’s heavenly blues. The flowers flutter on whisper-thin stems and lime-green markings make each one a work of art. This little beauty (it’s just 4” tall) makes its impact with quantity, not size.

Each bulb produces multiple stems, topped with several dainty blue flowers that resemble little parasols.

A carpet of beautiful blue flowers appears early at the base of trees or even right in the lawn – at about the same time as crocuses.

Scilla loves light and blooms best when in full sun. It can also tolerate partial shade, but never if the shade is deep.

When scilla has finished flowering, its foliage loses its emerald colour and fades away quickly. Once the foliage is gone, the bulbs will stay dormant underground till the next spring.

Rabbits and chipmunks usually ignore scilla bulbs and flowers. Deer also doesn’t particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favour of tastier treats.

It’s very easy to plant scilla in lawns or landscaped areas. The plants multiply in two ways: by seed and by bulb offsets. Scilla bulbs are small and inexpensive, so you can plant lots. Over time, a few handfuls of bulbs can grow into a large carpet that you can enjoy every spring.

Scilla in Toronto

Scilla in Toronto

Scilla in Toronto

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