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Products > Scilla peruviana
Scilla peruviana - Giant Scilla

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  
Image of Scilla peruviana
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Bulb/Tuber/Rhizome etc.
Family: Hyacinthaceae (~Amaryllidaceae)
Origin: Mediterranean (Europe)
Flower Color: Blue Violet
Bloomtime: Spring
Synonyms: [Oncostema peruviana]
Height: <1 foot
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 0-10 F
May be Poisonous  (More Info): Yes
Scilla peruviana (Giant Scilla) - A beautiful bulb with short dark green strap-shaped leaves that emerge in the fall to form tight rosettes to 18 inches across. In mid spring, from the center of the rosette, emerges one or occasionally several 6-12" tall stalks bearing densely packed heads of deep blue colored flowers that last for a several weeks.

A very easy plant to grow if given full to part sun in a fairly lean soil that has good drainage. Given these conditions it can be irrigated though the dry season and be nearly evergreen or can be grown with little supplemental irrigation in mediterranean climate regions where it sprouts after the first rain in the fall, blooms in spring then goes dormant over summer. It is cold hardy to around 5 F. A very attractive plant but do not eat this plant as it is known to contain a glycoside similar to Digitalis and is considered poisonous if ingested.

Scilla peruviana is native from southwestern Europe to western Africa with the older genus name Scilla named after the Greek name for Sea Squill, which was Scilla maritima before first becoming Urginea maritima and later Drimia maritima. The origin of this plant's specific epithet is quite an interesting story. Plants were collected in Spain in the 17th century and shipped to England on a ship named "The Peru" but when later naming the plant Linnaeus thought the plant originated in the South American country of Peru and named the plant for its supposed origin. It has also garnered many common names that further confuse the gardener such as Hyacinth of Peru, Peruvian Lily and Star of Peru and names such as Caribbean Lily and Cuban Lily because this plant has naturalized in these areas.

Recent DNA sequencing studies have concluded that many of the plants originally placed in the genus Scilla likely have different evolutionary origins. In the reorganization of the genus, several new or resurrected genera names have been proposed with one proposed name for this species being renamed Oncostema peruviana. This reorganization has not been widely accepted and we retain use of the original name. For more information on the renaming Scilla species see Julian Slade's posting on the Pacific Bulb Society Scilla Page

This information about Scilla peruviana displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.