Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Mystery is Solved..

Across the street at Miss Terri's house, these strange leaves started to pop up in her woodland garden area.. Neither of us knew what they were. We figured it was a bulb since it was spring, and the leaves looked like mounds of larger lirope leaves, but only more succulent. I searched my garden magazines and finally came up with the name. Spanish Bluebells. I had never seen them before. What pretty flowers that pop in the woods.


There are over 100 species of Scilla, but only about half a dozen are widely available commercially. Probably the most commonly cultivated are the Scilla hispanica, or Spanish Bluebells:
Spanish Bluebells

As the name suggests, these flowers are native to Spain (and Portugal) and have beautiful blue, bell-shaped blossoms. What the name doesn't tell you is that they grow and multiply very easily, even in shade, and in almost every type of soil. What ever the opposity of "finicky" is, that is what Spanish Bluebells are. They will even grow where grass won't!
The wild variety is a violet-blue, but cultivated varietes are available in several different shades of blue, as well as pink and white.
Spanish Bluebells are among the tallest of the Scilla. Try them planted behind some of your shorter, earlier-blooming spring bulbs to extend your spring blooming season, and in the more difficult spots in your garden. Just try them; you won't be sorry.
Flowering time: late spring
Plant height: 10 - 18" (25 - 46 cm)
Minimum planting depth: 4" (10 cm0
Hardiness zones: suitable for zones 3 - 8
Colours: cultivated varieties are available in pink, white and various shade of blue wild variety is violet blue
Shape/form: flowers are shaped like a broad bell with a flared rim about 12 to 15 flowers hang from a sturdy, round stalk 5 to 6 strap-like leaves per plant
Alternate names: Wood Hyacinth, Scilla campanulata, Endymion hispanicus

Correct Latin name: Hyacinthoides hispanica
Notes: good for rock gardens, beds, borders, among ferns, in woodland gardens, ground covers, or as mass plantings wild variety is fragrant; cultivated varieties are generally scentless when planting, add sand or gravel to ensure good drainage, if necessary
Example varieties:
Blue Queen (soft blue), Danube (dark blue), Excelsior (blue-violet), Rosabella (violet pink), Rose Queen (rose-pink), White City (white), White Lion (white), White Triumphator (white)


Anonymous said...

aww, they're pretty.

Lakewood florist

John said...

Now I know you didn't come over to the house in Bremerton enough. I had those! :)

Dirty Fingernails said...

I didn't know you had them. Where were they at. You have to remember I had 2 little wild boys then. Now I have just 5 out of control children. I miss Bremerton and Seattle!

John said...

They were in the back under the big cedar tree.