• Name: Spring squill | Scilla verna
  • Size: 5-15cm in height | flowers 1 to 1.5cm across
  • Life span: Spring squill is a perennial plant (lives for more than two years)  
  • Diet: Sunshine (being a plant it uses photosynthesis to produce food)
  • Reproduction: Spring squill reproduces through seeds and/or bulb division
  • When to see: Spring, may be seen into the Summer (but best in April and May)
  • Where to see: It is found in short dry grassy areas, usually near the sea i.e. Toll's Hill, St Mary's | Gweal Hill, Bryher | White Island, St Martin's in Scilly.  
  • Conservation status: ICUN Redlist | Not assessed according to IUCN Red List criteria
  • Population Trend: Decreasing (increasing in Scilly as a result of habitat restoration work by the Trust)
  • Threats:  Over-grazing or lack of management resulting in succession (growth of larger, more dominant species which prevent  smaller species from growing)
  • Fun Fact: Like the Bluebell, Spring squill used to be included in the Lily family, Liliaceae.  However, following DNA analysis, Squills have been reclassified as members of the Asparagus family (Asparagaceae)! 

Description: Spring squill is a small native flowering plant with star-like lilac-blue to violet flowers.  The six petalled flowers grow in a dense cluster of two to twelve at the top of an upright stem.

Growing from bulbs the flowers are scentless and contain both male and female parts.  The curled green leaves of Spring squill are long and narrow, measuring from 3–20cm in length by 2–5mm wide; with 2-7 leaves ordinarily growing at the base of the plant.

Like most cliff-top/coastal wildflowers it is low growing and very tolerant of salt spray. 

Want to know more?  Check out our #JustGivingTuesday "Squill on the Hill" short video.


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With thanks to BareFoot Photographer | Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust for the Spring squill image