GLORY-OF-THE-SNOW

FORBES' GLORY-OF-THE-SNOW

Scilla forbesii

(Formerly: Chionodoxa forbesii)
Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

status
statusZneophyte
 
flower
flower8blue
 
flower
flower8azure
 
inner
inner8white
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ6
(tepals)
stem
stem8round
 
toxicity
toxicityZmedium
 

24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves (of which there are more than 2 as in Alpine Squill) are with the flowers.


24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
flowers branched from a stalk with between 4 and 12 flowers.


24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The tepals (of which there are 6) are fused into a proximal tube at between 1/5th and 1/2 of their length.


24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are on a widening stalk which is longer for the lower flowers and progressively shorter for those near the top.


24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The free part of the tepals are white for the first 1/3rds of their length merging to blue for their final 2/3rds. Their length is between 10-15mm, whereas the sepal tube part is only 3-5mm long. The six stamens are at the summit of white broad flat filaments arranged in an inner circle.


24th March 2017, north of Tewitfield Locks, disused Lancaster Canal, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Leaves broad and not unlike those of Lily-of-the-Valley


Not to be semantically confused with : Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium tomentosum) [a plant with similar name]

Frequently mis-named as: Boissier's Glory-of-the-snow (Scilla luciliae) which has similarly pale-blue 'petals' which merge into white at the inner, but that usually has but 1 or 2 flowers (rather than 4-12 for Glory-of-the-Snow) and has longer 'petals' 12-20mm (as opposed to 10-15mm for Glory-of-the-snow). Easily mistaken for : Lesser Glory-of-the-Snow (Scilla sardensis) but the flowers are wholly bright-blue and with slightly more flowers, 6-16 as opposed to the 4-12 for Glory-of-the-Snow)

There are several other similar plants in both Scilla proper and in the former Chionodoxa genera that resemble Glory-of-the-Snow to various degrees.

No relation to : Chilean Glory-flower (Eccremocarpus scaber), Common Morning-glory (Ipomoea purpurea), Crimson-glory-vine (Vitis coignetiae), Summer Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) or Snowdon Lily (Gagea serotina) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

Glory-of-the-Snow is the most common of a series of differing Glory-of-the-Snows which are all introduced and naturalised plants grown in parks and gardens and grassy verges, from where it can spread or escape as garden throw-outs.

HOMO-ISO-FLAVONOIDS

Glory-of-the-Snow is toxic to livestock and humans containing high quantities of HomoIsoFlavonoids which have anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties. The HomoIsoFlavonoids found in Glory-of-the-Snow are as 3-Benzyl-4-Chromone, 3-Benzyl-3-Hydroxy-4-Chromanone and various variations on those as well as the Scillascillin-type of HomoIsoFlavonoids.
As well as the Homo-Iso-Flavonoids shown here, Glory-of-the-Snow contains several others similar to these. However, this particular Scilla species has not been much studied for secondary metabolites.



The Scillascillen-type of Homo-Iso-Flavonoids are very unusual compounds for plants, containing a cyclo-butane ring (the square). The cyclo-butane ring is joined at a single point making these compounds spiro compounds. Many species of Scilla and other genera belonging to the same family (Asparagaceae) contain a great variety of slightly differing compounds with this 6,6,4,6,5-ringed skeleton. So many that your Author has not bothered to draw others and urges his readers to use their imagination.



  Scilla forbesii  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asparagaceae  

Distribution
 family8Asparagus family8Asparagaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Scilla
Scilla
(Squills)

GLORY-OF-THE-SNOW

FORBES' GLORY-OF-THE-SNOW

Scilla forbesii

(Formerly: Chionodoxa forbesii)
Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]