Scilla forbesii

  (Redirected from Chionodoxa siehei)

Scilla forbesii, known as Forbes' glory-of-the-snow, is a bulbous perennial from west Turkey flowering in early spring. It is considered synonymous with Scilla siehei, known as Siehe's glory-of-the-snow, by some sources,[1] although others distinguish them.[2][3] It belongs to a group of Scilla species that were formerly put in a separate genus, Chionodoxa, and may now be treated as Scilla sect. Chionodoxa.[3] After flowering, it goes into dormancy until the next spring. It seeds readily to form colonies.

Scilla forbesii
Chionodoxa siehei closeup.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Scilloideae
Genus: Scilla
Section: Scilla sect. Chionodoxa
S. forbesii
Binomial name
Scilla forbesii
(Baker) Speta[1]
  • Chionodoxa forbesii Baker
  • Chionodoxa luciliae var. forbesii (Baker) Drude
  • Chionodoxa siehei Stapf
  • Chionodoxa tmolusi Whittall
  • Scilla siehei (Stapf) Speta
  • Scilla tmolusi (Whittall) Speta


Like all members of the former genus Chionodoxa, the bases of the stamens are flattened and closely clustered in the middle of the flower. In other species of Scilla, the stamens are not flattened or clustered together.[4]

Each bulb produces two leaves, up to 12 cm long and 2 cm wide, and at most one flowering stem, up to 10.5 cm long. The flowers are produced in a broadly pyramidal raceme, with up to 12 flowers per stem. The lower ones face outwards, the upper ones face upward. Each flower is up to 3 cm across, with individual tepals 1.3 cm long. The base of each tepal is white (as are the stamen filaments), producing a white 'eye'. The outer part of the tepals is deep blue to violet-blue.[5]

For those who differentiate S. siehei from S. forbesii, S. forbesii differs by having fewer, smaller upward-facing flowers, which are a deep blue, rather than violet-blue.[2]


Scilla forbesii, taken to include S. siehei, is native to western and southern Turkey.[1] Yildirim et al., who distinguish between S. forbesii and S. siehei, give the two slightly different distributions within Turkey. S. forbesii is said to occur only on Babadağ Mountain in Muğla Province, whereas S. siehei is found only on Nif Mountain in İzmir Province.[3]


Scilla forbesii is the commonest species grown in gardens, where it is often wrongly called S. luciliae.[4]

Scilla forbesii can be bought as dry bulbs (often under the alternative names Scilla luciliae, Chionodoxa luciliae, Scilla siehei or Chionodoxa siehei) and planted while dormant in late summer or early autumn at a depth of 8–10 cm. It requires light when in growth, but can be grown under deciduous trees or shrubs, as the foliage dies down after flowering. It will flower in early to mid Spring. The common blue form seeds freely in many gardens, creating large colonies.[5]

Scilla siehei, then regarded as a separate species, was awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993,[6] which was reconfirmed in 2005.[7] The variety alba has white flowers, and the cultivar 'Pink Giant' has pink flowers with white centres.[4][8]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Scilla forbesii", World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2020-03-17
  2. ^ a b Dashwood & Mathew (2005), p. 5
  3. ^ a b c Yildirim et al. (2017)
  4. ^ a b c Mathew (1987), p. 25
  5. ^ a b Dashwood & Mathew (2005), pp. 5,7
  6. ^ Award of Garden Merit Plants November 2018 – Ornamentals (PDF), Royal Horticultural Society, 2018, p. 98, retrieved 2020-03-17
  7. ^ Dashwood & Mathew (2005), p. 3
  8. ^ Beckett & Grey-Wilson (1993)