Comprehensive Description


Bulbous, perennial herbs, the bulbs sometimes fibrous at apex. Leaves all basal, never spotted. Inflorescence erect, terminal. Bracts 1 or 2 per flower, decurrent. Flowers blue or white, never yellow. Perianth segments spreading or strongly recurved. Filaments connate towards the base. Ovary spherical to oblong; ovules axile, many. Fruit a loculicidal capsule. Seeds rounded, obtusely angled, black, verrucose.  This is another genus in the Hyacinthaceae, for which the taxonomy is not clear. This account must be regarded as provisional.
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© Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten and Petra Ballings

Source: Flora of Zimbabwe


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Foodplant / pathogen
Ditylenchus dipsaci infects and damages live, soft bulb of Scilla

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / saprobe
colony of Embellisia dematiaceous anamorph of Embellisia hyacinthi is saprobic on bulb scale of Scilla

Foodplant / internal feeder
larva of Merodon equestris feeds within bulb of Scilla

Foodplant / pathogen
anamorph of Sclerotinia bulborum infects and damages live bulb of Scilla
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / spot causer
semi-immersed, brownish becoming darker pycnidium of Septoria coelomycetous anamorph of Septoria scillae causes spots on live leaf of Scilla
Remarks: season: 5


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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:37
Specimens with Sequences:47
Specimens with Barcodes:42
Species With Barcodes:9
Public Records:20
Public Species:6
Public BINs:0
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)


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Barcode data

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© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)


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For the town, see Scilla, Italy. For the given name, see Priscilla. For the mythological monster, see Scylla.

Scilla (pronounced /ˈsɪlə/; Squill),[1] is a genus of about 50[2] bulb-forming perennial herbs in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Scilloideae,[3] native to woodlands, subalpine meadows, and seashores throughout Europe and Asia. 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.[4] Prior to that it was placed in the Hyacintheae tribe of the Liliaceae family. Various proposals have split the nearly 50 species of Scilla, particularly the Eurasian species, into a number of smaller genera such as Orthocallis (Speta), eg Orthocallis siberica.

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.


Former species

Scilla peruviana

Scilla peruviana is of interest for its name; it is a native of southwest Europe, not of Peru. When Carolus 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

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

Squill liquid extract, a preparation of powdered squill bulbs extracted in ethanol, is an expectorant used in traditional cough medicines such as Gee′s Linctus[5] and Buttercup Syrup.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ ZipcodeZoo
  3. ^ Stevens, P.F. (2001 onwards), Angiosperm Phylogeny Website: Asparagales: Scilloideae, http://www.mobot.org/mobot/research/apweb/orders/asparagalesweb.htm#Hyacinthaceae 
  4. ^ 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 
  5. ^ "Gee′s Linctus BP". Electronic Medicines Compendium. Datapharm Communications Limited. http://emc.medicines.org.uk/medicine/21068/XPIL/Gee%27s+Linctus+BP+%28Boots+Company+plc%29/. Retrieved 2010-01-16. "Each 5 ml of oral liquid contains Opium Tincture 0.084 ml, Squill Vinegar for Oxymel 0.5 ml." 
  6. ^ Buttercup Syrup, (Chefaro UK Ltd.; William Ransom & Son): Squill Liquid Extract 0.0031ml.
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