There are flowers like peonies and roses that seem so soft and recognizable and then there are flowering plants like this, the wildly unique Scilla peruviana, that make you stop, stare and wonder what they are. As much as I appreciate a sweet, petal-filled peony, I’m becoming more drawn to flowers that make me ask questions, wonder where they originate and what function all of their interesting aspects serve.
Sprout Home had a beautiful vase of cut Scilla peruviana, or Portuguese squill, available last week, so we picked up a few to bring back to the DS office and photograph. Max and I both marveled at the quill-like centers of each flower, which are surrounded by a crown of delicate purple flowers. Native to northwest Africa and the Mediterrananeon, Scilla peruviana actually gets its name from a botanical naming error. While its scientific name means “of Peru,” the plant was actually discovered in Spain and delivered aboard a ship named Peru. The name stuck (apparently because the rules of botanical naming do not allow for a do-over) and now the world has over 80 species of Scilla that share similar qualities. The most common varieties of Scilla, like this peruviana, have 40-100 white, blue or violet flowers and can be found throughout the world during spring months. I think a tall mass of these is a great alternative to carnation or similarly tall and leggy blooms. So if you see these at your local florist or market, give them a shot! xo, grace
*Fun fact: Scilla peruviana is also known as a Cuban lily, Caribbean lily, hyacinth-of-Peru, Havana lily and Peruvian lily…despite the fact that it originates from none of the named countries.