Violet Squill, Leopard Lily, South African Scilla, Bluebell, Silver Squill, and Wood Hyacinth
Ledebouria socialis var. violacea
le-de-BOR-ree-a so-KEE-ah-liss cv. vy-oh-LAY-see (say)-uh
Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’ was originally named and described as Scilla violacea Hutch. by John Hutchinson in Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information (RBC-Kew) in 1932. The name was changed to Ledebouria violacea (Hutch.) W.L.Tjaden by William Louis Tjaden in 1989. This form was segregated based on its leaf coloration but is now considered a cultivar (or variety depending on where you look) of Ledebouria socialis.
Ledebouria socialis (Baker) Jessop is the correct and accepted name for this species of Ledebouria. It was named and described as such by John Peter Jessop in Journal of South African Botany in 1970. It was first named Scilla socialis by John Gilbert Baker in Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa in Bulletin du Musee de Georgie in 1908.
Ledebouria socialis var. violacea IS NOT an accepted name.
I sorta kinda made it up to distinguish it between the two “varieties” I am growing. The other is Ledebouria socialis var. paucifolia which you can view by clicking HERE.
The genus, Ledebouria Roth, was named and described by Albrecht Wilhelm Roth in Novae Plantarum Species Praesertim Indiae Orientalis in 1811. According to Plants of the World Online by Kew, the genus Ledebouria contains 61 accepted species (as of when I am updating this page on October 29, 2019).
I bought two plants from a member of the Facebook Group called Succulent Marketplace in October 2018. She said one of them was Ledebouria scilla paucifolia and the other was Ledebouria socialis violaceae ‘Silver Squill’. Upon research, I found out they were formerly in the genus Scillia. Ledebouria socialis var. violacea was formerly Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’ and Ledebouria violacea. The other plant was formerly Ledebouria pauciflora but now is Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora. Both plants are considered varieties of Ledebouria socialis.
Ledebouria species are native to Southern Africa. Common names include Violet Squill, Leopard Lily, South African Scilla, Bluebell, Silver Squill, and Wood Hyacinth.
Ledebouria socialis have light silvery-green leaves with small darker green spots. Ledebouria socialis ‘Violacea’ have light silvery green leaves with larger green spots and the underside of the leaves are maroon.
I was very happy I received such a nice cluster. Most of the bulb needs to be out of the soil.
Family: Asparagaceae (formerly in Hyacinthaceae)
Origin: South Africa
Zones: USDA Zones 10a-11 (30-40° F)
Size: Around 6” tall
Light: Light shade to shade
Soil: Well-drained potting soil.
Water: Needs regular watering during the growing period but soil needs to dry between watering. Needs the soil to be dry during the winter.
SOIL AND WATER: Ledebouria socialis should be planted with at least 2/3 of their bulbs exposed in a rich, well-draining potting mix. They should be watered thoroughly during the growing period but the soil needs to dry between watering.
LIGHT: The Pacific Bulb Society says Ledebouria needs filtered light and never in full sun. Llifle (Encyclopedia of Living Forms) says full sun to semi-shade but adapts to shade. Hmmm…
WINTER DORMANCY: The Pacific Bulb Society says Ledebouria need to have a dry winter dormancy. They say (in many varieties) “a wet winter dormancy causes the plants to continue growing without replacing old leaves. When spring and summer comes, the plant does not put out a new flush and will not flower.” So, I did my best not to water them over the winter.
Well, I am a Ledebouria newbie so I we are in an experimental period. I received my plants in October and did not water them at all until February 16 because the leaves were beginning to wilt. I also moved them to another room although they were fine where they had been where it was much cooler.
According to information I have read, the Ledebouria socialis is very easy to grow and favored by cactus and succulent enthusiasts.
Once night time temperatures remained warm enough, I moved the potted plants outside for the summer. The Ledebouria are now on the front porch. The plants were glad to be outside in the fresh air.
I took the above photo to show what the bulbs look like. The bulbs basically sit on top of the soil while the roots support the plant.
I really like the silvery leaves and larger green spots.
The underside of the leaves are a violet color which will become darker in more light.
I decided to take the Ledebouria to the back porch to put it in a new pot. The other plant needed to be straightened up and I also added new soil to its pot.
It must be happy since it is growing new leaves.
Since it has been outside in more light, the undersides of the leaves have become darker.
I lifted the cluster out of the pot and noticed how many roots it had. NICE!
The Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is now in its new pot with fresh soil. A plant friend of mine wanted a start, so I removed one of the bulbs while I was at it. He is going to send a couple other cultivars. 🙂
I noticed a couple of buds emerging on June 8. AWESOME!
The bud looks almost like a cluster of grapes ar first.
Looking very good and happily growing!
Well, the flowers are very small but they are still pretty neat, huh?
It looks like the Ledebouria socialis var. violacea is s nice spreader.
I will continue adding more photos and experience as time goes by.
To view the page about the Ledebouria socialis var. pauciflora click HERE.
I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.