Squill: trouble (?) in a pretty spring bloom

Squill photo by Peter Dutton from Forest Hills, Queens, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

During the last few years, University of Minnesota Extension has led the City Nature Challenge using an awesome app, iNaturalist, to record urban nature in Minneapolis and St. Paul. During this weekend-long event, observant volunteers have found squill at concerning density in forested areas.

Squill, Scilla sibericais, is a non-native spring ephemeral: a plant that grows, flowers and dies back in the early spring. It’s often sold as a decorative garden flower under the name Siberian squill even though it’s originally from the Caucuses, Turkey, and southwestern Russian. It readily spreads and is hardy and cold-tolerant. There’s little information about squill's naturalized distribution or damage, but its unchecked presence has us looking more closely. Check out EDDMapS Midwest to see if it’s near you.

Please keep an eye out for this non-native plant and report it to GLEDN (Great Lakes Early Detection Network) app (Here’s a great 1:31 minute video about GLEDN) or EDDMapSMidwest if you find it.

Photo credit: Peter Dutton from Forest Hills, Queens, USA [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]