dry; moderate; water wise
Blue Squill, Blouberglelie
30 – 60 cm
pale blue-white; violet-blue; spring summer
sun; semi-shade; light shade; dry soils; rockery; grassland; slope bank; container; wildlife bees butterflies insects;
subtropical east coast; Highveld
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The deciduous Merwilla plumbea, previously called Scilla natalensis, is a beautiful perennial bulb that grows with much of the bulb half-visible above ground. These are protected with an outer cover of dry, papery brown to purple scales. Broad, tapering leaves emerge in early spring usually after flowering although they can emerge simultaneously; these form neat, attractive rosettes of bright green and are 30 – 50 cm long, tapering to a point, with clearly distinct veins. The flower stems grow up to 1 m tall. A frost-resistant garden plant that form attractive clusters/colonies of plants. Leaves die down in autumn. This species now incorporates several species; S. krausii, S. natalensis, and S. plumbea. S. krausii has a smaller bulb and inflorescence. This bulb is toxic to mammals, is said to be poisonous to stock and humans. Wild populations are declining as as result of over-collection for the muthi trade.