The Best Spring
This spring is the best I've seen my front garden bed. This is the area where I planted the drought-tolerant plants, next to the driveway, farthest away from the house.
The California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) and California lilac (Ceanothus spp.) are blooming their best, the lupine (Lupinus) is blooming for the first time. I couldn't be happier.
Until I looked closer and found this.
I've never seen these flowers before. It's another first-time bloomer. I asked a friend who knows more about flowers what this plant was.
She said it's a Scilla, except I don't remember planting a Scilla. I thought, “This is worth exploring.” So I started researching to get more information about it. That's when I stumbled upon the name of a relative plant, the Chionodoxia, glory-of-the-snow. I do seem to recall planting some Chionodoxia bulbs, maybe... if I only I still have the identifying tag.
They are closely related, and in fact, Chionodoxia has formerly included in the genus Scilla. The distinguishing differences are: Chionodoxia has a conical tube in the center holding the anthers, the part of the stamen that holds the pollen; whereas in Scilla, the anthers are separated from each other. Also, in Scilla, the petals are separate and come out of the ovary, whereas, in Chionodoxa, there's a tube-like structure coming from the ovary then the petals splay out.
In short, Scilla has flatter flowers than Chionodoxia or glory-of-the-snow.
Based on the one picture I have, (the flowers are completely gone now) I have a Chionodoxia or glory-of-the-snow, (I do seem to recall planting it) and some of the flowers look like the squill, or Scilla. Until next year then...
Scilla picture courtesy of http://www.cumbriabotany.co.uk