Scilla mischtschenkoana 'Tubergeniana'
Common name: Squill
Scilla mischtschenkoana 'Tubergeniana' is a bulbous perennial in the Asparagus family (Asparagaceae) that flowers from late winter into early spring. It is native to northern Iran and the Caucasus.
Each plant, which grows to a height of about fifteen centimetres (six inches), has three to five narrow basal leaves. These leaves disappear by summer as the plant goes dormant. The racemes of star-shaped flowers are pale blue, and each tepal in the floret has a blue stripe down the centre.
S. mischtschenkoana 'Tubergeniana' is lightly fragrant. It naturalizes readily, and is well suited in a rock garden, in a border, or in drifts underneath deciduous shrubs and trees.
According to the Missouri Botanical Garden website, this species was thought to have been named S. mischtschenkoana by Alexander Grossheim in 1927, but the name was later changed to S. tubergeniana by A. Hoag in 1936. It isn't clear why there was a name problem, but it is suggested that it might be because people could neither spell, nor pronounce the original name. The cultivar name 'Tubergeniana' is in reference to the Van Tubergen Bulb Company of Holland which introduced the plant to western culture in 1936.
The photos of Scilla mischtchenkoana 'Tubergeniana' were taken in Bed 136 of the Canadian Heritage Garden. They make a lovely display among the various deciduous trees.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe