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Siberian squill

Quick facts

Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) is a popular landscape plant that can be invasive. 

  • Siberian squill is found in native woodlands.
  • It readily spreads itself and is hardy and cold tolerant.
  • It is not on any Minnesota control list, but may be added in the future.

How to identify Siberian squill

  • Small, 4–8 inches tall, early-flowering bulbous perennial.
  • It grows, flowers and then goes dormant at the same time as many native spring ephemerals, plants that emerge and bloom right after the snow melts.

Stem

  • One or more arching, hairless flower stalks form from the center of a rosette.

Leaves

  • 5-inch-long, grass-like, hairless leaves emerge from one point.

Flowers

  • 1-inch-wide, bell-shaped flowers occur singly or as a group of 2–3 at the top of a slim stem.
  • Six flaring blue petals with a dark blue center strip and six white stamens with blue tips.
  • Flower color may vary with variety and include white, pink or violet.
Siberian squill flowers

Seeds

  • Seed capsules are green and bumpy.
  • They turn brown as they mature and split to produce dark reddish-brown seeds.

Roots

  • Bulb

You can help!

Volunteers can help us better understand the distribution and density of squill. Minnesota Master Naturalists and others have found them during City Nature Challenge events usually held in April.

Until volunteers started reporting squill in Minnesota, this species wasn't on the radar of many natural resources or invasive species professionals. We'd like to better understand where it is and if we should look more closely at regulation or management.

This identification handout from Missouri Botanical Garden can be helpful when you are out hunting for squill.

Report squill

If you find squill in nature, not in a tended garden, please report it on one of these apps:

Garden plants

Please report squill that has escaped, not squill that's in a tended garden.

Angela Gupta, Extension educator; Amy Rager, Extension educator; and Megan M. Weber, Extension educator

Reviewed in 2020

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