squill

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Related to white squill: Urginea maritima

squill,

common name for two genera of Old World bulbous plants of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family). The horticulturists' squill is any plant of the genus Scilla, mostly spring-blooming low herbs with commonly deep blue but also white, rose, or purplish flowers borne along a leafless stem; the leaves are usually narrow. Species of Scilla are naturalized and used in rock gardens and borders; of these, the Siberian squill (S. sibirica) has long been a rock-garden favorite. The wood, or wild, hyacinth, called also bluebell or harebell (S. nonscripta), is the common squill. The pharmacists' squill, or sea onion (Urginea maritima), produces whitish or rose flowers in the autumn before it produces leaves. Its bulbs, collected chiefly from the Mediterranean region, are sold as white or red squill—the white is a drug used as a diuretic, stimulant, and expectorant; the red is used mostly as a rat poison. Squill is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

Squill

 

(Urginea maritima), also sea onion, a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Liliaceae. It has a large bulb, weighing 3 kg or greater. The inflorescence is a many-flowered raceme on a long peduncle, or scape, which measures 50-150 cm. Squill grows wild in Mediterranean countries. The bulbs contain glycosides (for example, scillaren A), saponins, and other substances. Preparations from squill stimulate the cardiovascular system and urination. A powder prepared from the bulbs was formerly used in treating heart failure; in modern medicine it is rarely used. The bulbs and preparations from the red variety of squill are effective in rodent control.

REFERENCE

Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.

squill


squill

1. See sea squill
2. the bulb of the sea squill, formerly used medicinally as an expectorant after being sliced and dried
3. any Old World liliaceous plant of the genus Scilla, such as S. verna (spring squill) of Europe, having small blue or purple flowers