As winter comes to an end, keep your eyes peeled for this beautifully vibrant deep blue flower. One of the first flowers to pop up in Spring, Scilla ‘Spring Beauty’ (Scilla siberica) is one of Ohio’s Spring ephemerals. It only blooms for a few weeks, then the flowers disappear, not to be seen for another year. Shooting out thin grass-like foliage as the ground warms, scilla’s flowers provide a blanket of vibrant ground color just as Winter comes to an end.
Easily grown in average well-drained soil in full sun to part shade, bulbs are planted 2-3″ deep in the Fall. These are tough, extremely cold hardy, low-maintenance plants that will naturalize easily by bulb offshoots and self-seeding. Each mature bulb will produce 3-4 thin scapes (3-6″ high) with 1-3, drooping, bell-like, deep blue flowers.
“Spring Beauty” provides intense blue color to garden and landscape borders. It is very effective grouped with other Spring ephemerals such as Anemone and Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica). In Central Ohio the flowers emerge in March and April, depending on the weather. The foliage and flowers form sweeping drifts in wooded areas if left to multiply year after year. In Columbus, scilla has naturalized along the shady banks of the Olentangy and Scioto Rivers.