A popular spring-flowering bulbous perennial, grown for its dainty starry flowers, borne above rich green grassy foliage.
Botanical Name: Chionodoxa (syn. Scilla)
Common Names: Glory-of-the-snow, squill
Foliage: Deciduous short green strap-like narrow basal leaves.
Flowers: Short racemes of blue to lilac, white-centred, star shaped flowers.
Flowering Period: March to May (depending on variety).
Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Any pH.
Conditions: Sunny open position. Any aspect, in either an exposed or sheltered location.
Type: Bulbous perennial.
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor (Cypress, Turkey). From the high alpine zones where the snow melts in spring.
Hardiness: Fully hardy in most regions of the UK.
Plant bulbs in the early autumn (September), in a moist but well-drained soil. Depth 3in (8cm), spacing 4in (10cm). Plant in full sun or very light shade.
Suitable for under planting deciduous trees and shrubs, rock gardens and containers. Looks best when planted in large drifts or naturalised in the the border.
Lift and divide at the end of spring when the bulbs become crowded. Replant at once.
No pruning necessary. Dead head once flowers have faded.
Propagate by offsets or from ripe seed sown in August, under the protection of a cold frame.
Chionodoxa forbesii has short strap-shaped leaves with small, upward-facing, pale blue starry flowers. Height to 6in (15cm).
Chionodoxa gigantea has largish lilac blue flowers with a small white center. The form 'Alba' is pure white. Height to 6in (15cm).
Chionodoxa luciliae has pale blue stars with a prominent white centre. Good varieties include 'Rosea' (pink), 'Zwanenburg' (bright blue) and 'Pink Giant' (extra-large pink flowers). Height to 6in (15cm).
Chionodoxa sardensis bears deep blue flowers with a small white eye, in March-May. Height 4in (10cm).