Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica (striped squills) flower after my spring crocus with charming blue stripes on a white background. From a distance, the effect is of a pale blue flower, but up close you can see the perky blue stripes on both the back and front of the light coloured petals.
Here the Pucschkinia are flowering with the fresh foliage of the Pulmonaria (lungwort). The stripes of the squills look good with the speckles of the perennial Pulmonaria leaves. The bulbs also come in an all white version, Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica ‘Alba’, if you don’t want blue in your colour scheme (but that’s hard to imagine). I have some of the all white Alba next to the striped flowers in another garden section.
These are planted with some other flower bulbs, some pure blue Scilla (squills) and some pure white Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Alba’ (white glory of the snow). I really like the blue, white and blue striped bulbs together. The striped squills are at the back of the picture, with the blue squills on the left, and the glory of the snow at the front. The glory of the snow more commonly comes in a very pretty blue colour, which I have planted in some other garden beds.
In the photo above you can see that the striped squills have a slight resemblance to their distant relations, the hyacinths, although they don’t have the scent of their larger cousins. The groups of 5 petals face out in all directions around the stalks, which gives them a full look. Each bulb sends up multiple stems, so the whole patch gives a good display.
These Pucschkinia are getting a sun bath, as the light filters through the bare branches of a tree. They handle shade fairly well, but seem to appreciate the part sun they get here before the tree fully leafs out. Another grouping gets an eastern exposure, with just some morning light, and they do very well, too. I have another cluster of them planted on the north side of my house, with almost no direct light, and they have been flowering well for a number of years. In the deeper shade they do get a little floppier after a few days.
It works well to plant these flower bulbs next to some perennials that come up later, so they fill the bare areas in spring, and the rising perennials will hide the decaying bulb foliage. I have some striped squills next to some ferns, that are slower to come up, and also next to some Epimedium (bishop’s cap).
Pucschkinia are robust bulbs that return reliably, even after a zone 3 winter. Some springs they get snowed on, and they just shrug it off, and keep flowering. They really don’t require much in the way of care, other than being planted in the fall, and then the pretty blue striped flowers appear in spring for a number of years. Here is another article showing Puschkinia.