Scilla verna

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaLiliaceaeScillaScilla verna


A bulbous perennial herb of short turf and maritime heath on exposed cliff-tops and on rocky slopes near the sea, sometimes within the zone regularly affected by sea-water spray. In areas with a pronounced oceanic climate (e.g. Anglesey) it can occur on heathland well inland. Generally lowland, but reaching 415 m in Foula (Shetland).



World Distribution

Oceanic Temperate element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 3


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 3

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 4.6

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1103

Life form information

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary

Bulbous geophyte



Clonality - primary

Tuberous or bulbous, slowing cloning by offsets

Clonality - secondary

Detaching ramets at or below ground

Comment on Clonality

Numerous small bulbs produced; probably a means of spread

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 310

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 29

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.12

Weighted Changed Factor: -22

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.