Siberian scilla-Scilla siberica Andr.-Poisonous plant

Siberian scilla

General poisoning notes:

Siberian scilla (Scilla siberica) is a hardy perennial bulb planted outdoors, and sometimes forced indoors, for its beautiful early spring flowers. The entire plant contains cardiac glycosides, which can potentially cause poisoning if ingested. No cases of poisoning have been documented. This is not a good plant to have around children or pets, which have a habit of chewing leaves. Other Scilla species may be available in Canada and may also contain toxins. Scilla species may also cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals (Lampe and McCann 1985, Spoerke and Smolinske 1990).


Plants up to 15-20 cm. Bulbs dark brown, widely conical, 2-3 cm dam. Leaves 3-4, up to 10-15 cm x 1-2 cm, linear, sulcate above. Flower stem with 3-6 bright blue up to 2.5 cm diam. Flowers widely funnel-shaped. V - early spring (March, April) to mid-summer. Fl - April. Fr - June. P - by seed and daughter bulbs. In cultivation since 1796, widely naturalized in gardens and parks of Europe. Undemanding as to habitat. Z 3.


Scientific Name: Scilla siberica Andr.
Vernacular name(s): Siberian scilla
Scientific family name: Liliaceae
Vernacular family name: lily

Geographic Information

Plant or plant parts used in or around the home.

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

The entire plant contains the toxins, including the bulbs and flowers (Lampe and McCann 1985).

Toxic parts:

All parts, bulbs, flowers, leaves.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Many Scilla species contain cardiac glycosides, scilla-dienolides, which act like digitalis (Spoerke and Smolinske 1990).

Toxic plant chemicals:


Chemical diagram(s) are courtesy of Ruth McDiarmid, Biochemistry Technician, Kamloops Range Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Kamploops, British Columbia, Canada.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.


General symptoms of poisoning:

Abdominal pains, diarrhea, vomiting.
Notes on poisoning:
Symptoms can include pain in the mouth cavity, abdominal pains, cramps, diarrhea, and an irregular pulse. Several species of Scilla are reported to irritate the skin of sensitive individuals (Spoerke and Smolinske 1990).

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