Blue Squill

© Blue Squill

Name

Blue Squill, Wild Squill or Blue Hyacinth

Latin Name

Scilla natalensis

Description

The tuft of leaves at the top of the bulb grows up to the full size of 400 mm during summer. Many of these are tiny plants only a few inches high with small flower-spikes in mauves, greens or dark blue. The inflorescence can grow up to 600 mm in height. Generally flowers in spring and early summer.

Habitat

The Blue Squill grows in colonies in moist grassland areas.

Field Notes

The name Blue Squill is used around the world for a number of species of plant and in South Africa, the name Blue Hyacinth is favoured. Parts of the plant are known to be poisonous to livestock and people with sheep dying if they eat the new leaves. Because of its poisonous properties, Scilla natalensis is used extensively in the muthi trade and this has put severe pressure on the distribution of the plant – it is now considered under threat.

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