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Products > Ledebouria socialis
 
Ledebouria socialis
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb
Family: Hyacinthaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Variegated Foliage: Yes
Flower Color: Purple
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Scilla violacea]
Height: <1 foot
Width: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Ledebouria socialis (Silver Squill) - An evergreen bulbous perennial to 6-10 inches tall with teardrop-shaped bulbs that usually are entirely above the ground with fleshy 4 to 6 inch long lance-shaped leaves that are bright gray purple with green blotches above; the underside is all purple. In spring and summer, rising up on delicate pink stalks just above the leaves, are the 20-25 small flowers that have greenish petals with white markings and purple stamens. Plant with bulbous part of plant above soil as it will rot if buried. Hardy to about 25 degrees F. A great and underused dry shade plant for growing as a small scale groundcover or for cracks in walls or in containers and also makes a nice house plant in climates to extreme for it to grow outdoors. This plant from the summer rainfall Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu-Natal in South Africa was first described in 1870 as Scilla socialis by the English botanist John Gilbert Baker (1834-1920) and it often is still called by this name or Scilla violacea, a name Kew botanist John Hutchinson gave this form with the purple-colored leaf undersides. In 1970 John Peter Jessop revised Scilla and reclassifying Scilla socialis into the genus Ledebouria. This name was one that Albrecht Wilhelm Roth (1757-1834) used when describing the type species, L. hyacintha from India, and honors German botanist Dr. Carl F. von Ledebour (1785-1851). Another common name for this species is Wood Hyacinth. This plant is sometimes listed as poisonous, likely due to its close relationship with Scilla natalensis which contains a cardiac glycoside. While some other species, such as Ledebouria ovatifolia are known to contain toxins, other species are eaten by the native bushman in Africa. The toxicity of this plant might be more of by association with others and it is not specifically listed in most valid poisonous plant references (including the FDA database), studies on Ledebouria socialis have yielded hyacinthacines and to be safe we list this plant as possibly poisonous.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Ledebouria socialis.
 
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