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Merwilla plumbea

Family: Hyacinthaceae

Common names: Blue Squill, Wild Squill, Blue Hyacinth (E); Inguduza (Z); Blouberglelie, Blouslangkop (A);

Native to: Southern Africa
Bulb, Perennial
An attractive perennial bulb which bears blue flowers on a tall stalk.

Merwilla plumbea

DECIDUOUS

FULL SUN

SEMI-SHADE

FROST HARDY

MEDIUM WATER REQUIREMENTS

MEDIUM GROWER

ATTRACTS INSECTS

FLOWER COLOUR:

AVERAGE SIZE:

0.5m x 0.2m
FLOWERING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D
FRUITING TIME:
J F M A M J J A S O N D

Merwilla plumbea

DESCRIPTION

A perennial bulb with a diameter of 10-15cm which is covered with firm, hardened, papery brown scales.  It is deciduous, growing in summer and dormant in winter.  It bears a rosette of broad, light green leaves.  The inflorescence bears many bright blue, star-shaped flowers each carried on a blue stalk.  The flowers have a honey-like scent in the early evening.

NATURAL HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Grows in a variety of habitats from sunny slopes, rocky hills and cliffs to vleis, stream edges and near waterfalls.
WILDLIFE & ECOLOGICAL BENEFITS
The honey-scented flowers attract bees.
LANDSCAPING USES
GARDEN THEMES
Bushveld, Rockery
FOLIAGE
CAUTION
The bulb and leaves of this plant are poisonous.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Trevor

    The same position for 12 years may mean that the soil’s nutrients are depleted. You should possibly consider lifting, dividing and replanting them in enriched soil.

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  2. Thanks for the comments. I have had them in the same position for about 12 years – no flowers. I had success with ash on grass aloes and hope this works as well.

    Trevor

  3. Hi Trevor

    Thanks for visiting Plantbook.

    In optimal growing conditions, they can take up to 4 years to flower.

    Despite being hardy, they are sensitive to any disturbance so it’s best to almost neglect them and avoid watering them in winter.

    The ash may help, along with a few years of patience!

    Flourish!
    Glenice

  4. I cannot get mine to flower but have now tried treating with ash from burnt grass that causes grassland aloes to flower.

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