Othocallis siberica (Haw. ex Andr.) Speta

Siberian squill

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Siberian squill originates from Russia, Turkey and the Caucasus, and is widely cultivated for its dark blue, bell-shaped flowers. It can be quite invasive in northeastern North America, although it has so far been uncommon in New England, where it has been collected only in Massachusetts.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), meadows and fields

Characteristics

Habitat
terrestrial
New England state
Massachusetts
Leaf arrangement
the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (basal)
Leaf blade shape
the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
Leaf blade length
100–150 mm
Flower petal color
  • blue to purple
  • white
Flower petal length
12–16 mm
Petal fusion
the perianth parts are separate
Inflorescence type
  • the inflorescence is a dichasial cyme (an axis with a terminal flower, below it a pair of branches, each with a terminal flower, these branches may in turn have a pair of branches and so on)
  • the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
Ovary position
the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
Fruit type (specific)
the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
Fruit length
4–6 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Axillary bulblets
    there are no bulblets being produced in axils
  • Flowers
    Anther attachment
    the anther is attached by its base to the filament
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused (the number of carpels equals the number of locules)
    Flower petal color
    • blue to purple
    • white
    Flower petal length
    12–16 mm
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Fringed petal edges
    the petals are not fringed
    Inflorescence type
    • the inflorescence is a dichasial cyme (an axis with a terminal flower, below it a pair of branches, each with a terminal flower, these branches may in turn have a pair of branches and so on)
    • the inflorescence is a raceme (a long unbranched stem with stalked flowers growing along it)
    Marks on petals
    there are no noticeable marks on the petals
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    3
    Number of pistils
    1
    Ovary position
    the ovary is above the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal fusion
    the perianth parts are separate
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble petals in color and texture
    Sepal length
    12–16 mm
    Sepals fused only to sepals
    the sepals are separate from one another
    Spathe
    the plant does not have a spathe
    Spathe form
    NA
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused outwards
    • the stamens are fused to the petals or tepals at or near their bases
    • the stamens are not fused to the petals or tepals
    Style petal-like
    the style is not broad and flattened like a petal
    Tepals
    the petals and sepals are similar in size and color
  • Fruits or seeds
    Berry color
    NA
    Fruit compartments
    there are three locules in the fruit
    Fruit length
    4–6 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry and splits open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a capsule (splits along two or more seams, apical teeth or pores when dry, to release two or more seeds)
    Other markings on berry
    NA
  • Glands or sap
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Underground organs
    the plant has one or more swollen storage organs underground, such as bulbs, tubers or corms
  • Leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant (basal)
    Leaf blade basal lobes
    the leaf blades do not have basal lobes
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has no stalk
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cuneate (wedge-shaped, tapers to the base with relatively straight, converging edges), or narrow
    Leaf blade cross-section
    • the leaf blade is U- or V-shaped
    • the leaf blade is more or less flat in cross-section
    Leaf blade faces
    both surfaces of the leaf blade are exposed
    Leaf blade form
    Fully-formed (i.e., expanded), +/- green leaf blades are found somewhere on the plant
    Leaf blade length
    100–150 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    the leaf blade is linear (very narrow with more or less parallel sides)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets
    Stipule twining
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on this plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    terrestrial
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • meadows or fields
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the leaves have no particular smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem leaves
    there are no true leaves on the flowering stem

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

None

Native to North America?

Sometimes Confused With

Chionodoxa luciliae

Family

Hyacinthaceae

Genus

Othocallis

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Othocallis siberica (Haw. ex Andr.) Speta E

Siberian squill. Scilla siberica Haw. ex Andr. • MA. Edges of lawns, fields, roadsides, 
abandoned gardens.