Hardy Spring Bulbs with Blue Flowers

The small bulbs of early spring are some of my favourites. Their perfect miniature flowers add beautiful colour and charm to the garden. The little blue flowers of Chionodoxa (glory of the snow) and Scilla (squills) mix well with the other spring colours, as well as the new perennial foliage. They can also endure snowstorms and keep producing these beautiful flowers. Both the Scilla and Chionodoxa do well in a shady garden.

Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow)
Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow)

These Chionodoxa forbesii (glory of the snow) are planted under a Hydrangea. The Hydrangea has yet to break any buds, but the glory of the snow are shining beautifully under the bare branches of the shrub. I adore the bright blue flowers, with the white centres. Each flower has six long petals, with a dark line down the middle of each. The white in the middle makes the flowers stand out even more. The upturned flowers of each bulb are very showy, but they look especially nice in groups.

Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) in shade
Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) in shade

The Chionodoxa luciliae (glory of the snow) also have terrific blue flowers that face the sky. These bulbs are planted in a very shady area, but they still bloom each year. The flowers are behind a group of  Scilla, and together they make a beautiful garden bed of blue on the north side of my house. There are still some blue and white Puschkinia (striped squills) flowering next to them, after three weeks.

Scilla siberica (squills) blue flowers
Scilla siberica (squills) blue flowers

Scilla siberica (squills) come in the prettiest, brightest blues. The flowers hang down from the stems, but the backs of the petals are as blue as the fronts. These squills have spread in this area of the garden, despite getting less than an hour of sun a day. I’m surprised they have been expanding each year, instead of declining under the adverse conditions.

blue spring bulbs in snow
blue spring bulbs in snow

The above photo shows why I appreciate these hardy spring bulbs in a cold climate. The Scilla siberica were getting battered on the morning of a snowstorm earlier this week. The snow actually got deeper during the day, and mostly covered up the blue flowers. After the snow melted, most of these hardy bulbs were still upright and flowering. Their resiliency and tolerance make them great choices for a northern garden. The first photo in the post of the Chionodoxa forbesii was also taken after the snowstorm had completely covered the flowers, and then melted. You couldn’t even tell that they had been buried now.

Scilla siberica 'Spring Beauty' (squills) and Chionodoxa
Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’ (squills) and Chionodoxa

I have a large group of  Scilla siberica ‘Spring Beauty’ next to some white Chionodoxa ‘Alba’, which flower at the same time. These two spring bulbs make a fresh looking combination in blue and white. This group in the back yard have some blue and white Pusckinia scilloides (striped squills)  flowering to the west in this bed. I waffled, and placed it in a post on white spring bulbs, but could easily have included it with the blues. All of these bulbs have long narrow leaves that fade away by summer, and are easily hidden by the growing perennials.

There are buds on the blue Muscari bulbs (grape hyacinths), but none have opened yet. The little blue spring flowers will continue for a while, once the Muscari fully open. Here is an earlier post with more blue bulb pictures.

I love cheerful flowers that endure and bloom, despite the conditions, instead of sulking and declining. Both Chionodoxa and Scilla are much tougher than their delicate petals and diminutive stature would suggest.

Scilla siberica (squills) blue flowers up close
Scilla siberica (squills) blue flowers up close

25 thoughts on “Hardy Spring Bulbs with Blue Flowers”

  1. Their diminuitive size and delicate looks certainly belie their toughness. (And they are so pretty!) It’s good to know they can handle the extreme vagaries of our spring weather. I am impressed!

    1. The Garden Ms. S, this week I was very grateful for the hardy plants and bulbs that shrugged off the wet snow. The Crocus ‘Yellow Mammoth’ have really surprised me, as they are still going 3 1/2 weeks later, and aren’t fazed by the snow either. Without bulbs, it would have been a dreary April and early May.

    1. Katarina, most of my perennials and ferns are still just emerging, and fairly small, so these provide beautiful colour right now.

      Rebecca, my tulips didn’t have any buds before the snowfall, and then I noticed today that the buds are developing, so they seem to have appreciated the moisture, and don’t appear any worse for wear either.

      Sweet Bay, these really stand out, too, because everything else is still small. The little blooms wouldn’t be as noticeable when the perennials grow tall in summer.

  2. Your photos are beautiful.

    I’ve been looking at these on southern gardener’s blogs and can’t wait to try them in my garden. I hope mine do as well as your have.

    1. Marnie, thanks, I’ve found they do very well, but the ones in deeper shade do get a bit floppier. Glory of the Snow lives up to its common name, and the Scilla take the siberica part of their name seriously.

      Shady Gardener, everything looks remarkably healthy after it melted, but sometimes you don’t know until later if some of the shrub and tree buds froze, and then they get fewer blooms. The lilac buds look fat still. The Hydrangea are still just bare twigs. They don’t take any chances. Some of the yews were bent to the ground from the weight, but they seem okay too.

      Barbarapc, my Scilla in the front garden have done a good job of filling in, so I don’t know anymore which were the Scilla Siberica, and which are the ‘Spring Beauty’. They mixed together. In the back, I only have ‘Spring Beauty’.

  3. Northern, Beautiful photos of these hardy flowers! (Esp. for your sake, I’m so glad they’re hardy!!) Does everything else look okay? We had freezing temps around Iowa Saturday night. Our temps only reached the low 30’s F, but people north of us had some hard-freezing temps. We do usually wait to plant until after Mother’s Day for a reason!!

  4. Not only are those sweet little bulbs dependable – they’re wonderful spreaders if you let them go to seed. I’m sure most plant breeders don’t think of the definition of hardy as being: Must bounce back after snow storm. So glad they did – they are just charming.

    1. Marie, the blues are some of my favourite coloured flowers in the garden. Now, the lightest blue Muscari azureum are just starting to open, and show a little blue.The blue flowered perennials, Brunnera and Pulmonaria are starting, too.

      Rebecca, I have the Brunnera in different exposures, from almost full shade to half shade. The ones that grow in half shade grow the largest and get the most flowers. The largest ones in the lightest area are under a maple, and shaded on the east, and have some dappled shade from a lacy pine to their south. In a few weeks they will get the edge of the willow shade late in the day. At this time of year they get more light, before the trees fully leaf out, which I think helps them.

  5. Hi Northern, I hope you can help me with something. I’m trying to find the best spot for Jack Frost, and the location that I’ve chosen gets more direct sun than I thought (might not later in the season). Just wondering if your Brunnera are in full shade or if they get some sun during the day? I scorched his poor leaves a little by bringing him into the sunroom during the last snowfall, but left him in direct sunlight for part of a day. :( Now I’m moving him around the garden trying to find the perfect spot. Thanks!

  6. I also love the early flowering bulbs.
    The white flowering Jeffersonia are from North America but the one with blue flowers are from China and Korea. Both are lovely!

    1. Birgitta, thanks for the reply about the Jeffersonia. Those blue ones were beautiful, and I’ve stated checking for supplies.

      Diane, there’s a lot of debris from the trees that contributes to the garden soil. Many of the woodland type plants seem to especially appreciate it.

  7. Your scilla is just beautiful! And you soil looks so rich and healthy. My brother used to live in Edmonton. It’s a beautiful city. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog!

    1. Catherine, we’re supposed to have beautiful weather for the next week, so the plants should be able to keep growing again. There are more swelling buds around the garden.

    1. # 23, I love the intense colour of their flowers, and their early bloom time.

      Sheryl, they would be great for naturalizing in the lawn. Mine have spread easily in a tough site, but they are never bothersome. Who wouldn’t want more beautiful blue?

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