The Q&A Archives: Snowdrop or Squill

Question: Can you tell me if 'Chionodoxa luciliae' is a blue color
snowdrop that spreads like crazy and blooms here in zone 4
very early? There is a small park that I frequent that has this pretty blue flower and some white variation mixed in that I am trying to find out what it is. I found this name in one of my garden books but I'm not sure if this is it. I am looking for a good ground cover for a slope I have in my front yard. I know this is not bulb time of year but if this what I'm after; do you sell them in the fall?

Answer: Chinodoxa luciliae does indeed fit the description, as do Scilla bifolia and S. siberica. All have grassy foliage and enjoy the same growing conditions. Glory of the Snow has clusters of bloom with upfacing flowers and reflexed petals, and squill usually has a pendant head with single blooms (S. litardierei features racemes of 10-30 flowers, but it's only hardy to zone 5). Both Chinodoxa and Scilla are great for naturalizing. I'll send an e-mail to Burpee to see if they can fill you in on their fall bulb offerings.

The leaves of both Chinodoxa and Scilla fade out during the summer, so you'll probably need to plant a complementary groundcover that'll take over the space during the summer, while allowing the bulbs to shine in the spiring. I would guess that Vinca minor would be a good companion. Enjoy!

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