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Scilla bithynica, the Turkish squill, is a species of flowering plant in the genus Scilla, native to Bulgaria and Turkey. This squill naturalises extremely well here, enjoying most woodland conditions and some moisture. Of a similar size to our bluebell, it spreads in the same way to provide a carpet of blue but a month earlier. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Type: Hardy Perennial

Seeds per pack: 3

Height: 12-20cm

Hardiness zones: 4-8

Note: These seeds and or plants are toxic if eaten.

Germination: As with many perennials, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them break dormancy. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:

Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds on the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.

Alternatively, these seeds can also be planted outdoors in fall, winter, or early spring, while temperatures are still cold (but ground is workable) to germinate naturally in spring. Be sure to mark the area where you planted them, and that the soil is consistently moist.

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