Scilla bifolia

Scilla bifolia: The Delightful Alpine Squill

Scilla bifolia, also known as Scilla Taurica, Scilla bifolia var. taurica, Alpine Squill, or Early Spring Squill, belongs to the Asparagaceae family of plants. This bulbous perennial hails from Europe and the Caucasus, adding its charm to gardens and landscapes.

Characteristics and Blooms of Scilla bifolia

Featuring narrow basal leaves, Scilla bifolia showcases its star-shaped flowers on erect stems. The blossoms form beautiful violet-blue racemes, creating a captivating display in the spring. This delightful plant reaches a height of approximately 15 cm or 6 inches, making it a charming addition to any garden bed or border.

Scilla bifolia, commonly referred to as scilla or alpine squill, is a recipient of the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993, highlighting its exceptional qualities. With its two (occasionally 3 or 4) linear, basal leaves, the specific epithet “bifolia” signifies its characteristic of having two leaves. The flowers, measuring up to 1/2″ across, consist of six spreading petal-like tepals, creating a starry appearance.

Cultivating Scilla bifolia: A Comprehensive Guide

To cultivate Scilla bifolia successfully, follow these guidelines:

Sunlight: This plant thrives in full sun to light shade. It can be grown under deciduous trees, where it will receive ample sunlight during its blooming period in early spring before the tree’s leaves emerge.

Watering: Ensure that the soil is moderately fertile, well-drained, and humus-rich. Scilla bifolia appreciates regular watering, but be cautious not to overwater, as excessive moisture can be detrimental to its health.

Soil: Scilla bifolia prefers moderately fertile soils, including sandy loams, that offer good drainage. It adapts well to average garden soils, making it versatile in various garden settings.

Pests and Disease: Generally, Scilla bifolia is resistant to pests and diseases, making it a low-maintenance plant. However, be mindful of potential susceptibility to viruses. Regular monitoring and proper garden hygiene are recommended to ensure optimal plant health.

Propagation: Propagate Scilla bifolia through seeds, allowing it to self-seed naturally. Offsets can also be used for propagation. By embracing its self-seeding nature, you can enjoy a larger and more vibrant display of this charming plant.


Scilla bifolia does not require regular pruning. Allow the foliage to naturally wither and disappear during the summer as the plant goes dormant. This process is essential for the plant’s lifecycle and ensures its vigor in subsequent seasons.

Scilla bifolia is an excellent choice for naturalizing areas, as it effortlessly spreads through offsets and self-seeding. Its adaptability and resilience make it resistant to deer and rodent browsing, granting it a higher chance of survival in various garden environments. This captivating plant enhances woodland gardens, beds, borders, rock gardens, and naturalized areas. Its beauty is further accentuated when planted in large drifts or combined with other flowering bulbs or perennials. Its versatility also makes it suitable for edging purposes.

Note: The entire Scilla bifolia plant is poisonous if ingested, causing severe discomfort. Take precautions by wearing gloves and washing your hands after handling the plant.

With its delicate blooms and adaptability, Scilla bifolia is a delightful addition to any garden. Its early spring display and naturalizing tendencies make it a cherished plant that brings joy and enchantment year after year.

Scilla bifolia
Blue flowers of Scilla bifolia
Scilla bifolia
Scilla bifolia

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