Spring Squill - Hebrides Wildflowers
You can see these lovely pale purple or blue flowers all over The Western Isles. The star-like flowers are produced during the spring.
Spring Squill - Lily Family
The spring squill - Scilla verna - is a members of the lily family, and is a relative of the bluebell and the wild garlic. It is seen in The Western Isles, blooming from March to August.
The squills are perennial flowers and, like most cliff-top plants, are low growing. They can be up to 15cm high but are often much shorter on the sea cliffs due to the climate.
Spring Squill Flowers
The lovely wildflowers are blue/purple in colour and grow in a dense cluster. There are any number of flowers from two to twelve - which occur at the stem tops.
The beautiful wildflowers have no smell - they have 6 violet-blue sepals, 5-8 mm long. Each flower has a 5-15 mm long, bluish bract at the base. The seeds are black.
The Spring Squill,s latin name - the second part 'verna" actually means of the springtime.
Wildflowers Native to The Western Isles
Occasionally spring squill can be found in grassy areas away from the coast. These lovely purple/blue wildflowers are native to The Western Isles and can be seen on The Isle of Lewis, Isle of Harris and the Uists.
Just occasionally the flowers are white.
Nectar for The Bees
Spring squill offers nectar to very early solitary bees. Spring squill has blue anthers, these are the parts on the ends of the stamens which carry the pollen grains.
Grows from a Bulb
The Spring Squill is a perennial that grows from a bulb.
Two Squills in the UK
Spring squill is one of only two squills native to the UK, the other being the autumn-flowering Scilla autumnalis (autumn squill). When this perennial isn't in bloom they are hard to spot because their curled leaves are very grass-like in appearance.
The Spring Squill wildflowers are one of the Liliaceous family. They are a delicate little bulbous plant, found in sandy wastes and pastures, especially near the sea. Though colonies of these wildflowers can occur - more often here in the Western Isles you are More likely to see just a few together not masses.
The grassy leaves of spring squill come out in early spring followed soon by it's pale violet or blue - occasionally white star-like flowers. Two to seven leaves grow from the base of the plant; they are long and narrow, measuring 3-20 cm by 2-5 mm
Watch Out For The Spring Squill - Easy to Miss
It is very easy to miss this little wildflower as it so tiny and low growing and sits into the surrounding grass, I almost stood on the tiny plants, but is well-worth looking out for.
Many Herbal and Medicinal Uses
The leaves were used to soothe aching feet. Silverweed was made into a tea like infusion and used to cure menstrual cramps and indigestion and if honey is added it can be used as a gargle for the easing of sore throats. The silverweed has also been used to treat mouth ulcers, toothache, jaundice and stomach problems, piles, eye inflammation and many more medicinal uses.
|Inches and cm sizes are approximate|