Ledebouria socialis

Leopard, Violet or Silver Squill

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These are interesting bulbous plants with spotted leaves that thrive in droughty conditions, even if that's not what you intended.

Ledebouria socialis - leopard squill

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For novice growers and those with a yearning to have odd an unusual plants around them, this one is perfect.

Well behaved, these small plants can stay in the same pot for years.  I grow mine in a terracotta clay pot, and I think they would be fine in any unglazed type of pot.

They actually resent having too much room, and like their odd white to purple bulbs to be crowded together.  This seems to promote blooming too, which is always an great event, in any plant.

The leaves are strappy, and covered in an interestingly random pattern of spots in green on a background of a silver metallic color.  Some strains have dark red lower surfaces on the leaves, and are generally recognized as a slightly different sub species.

Ledebouria socialis, the Leopard Squill

The best growing conditions for these plants are in bright but filtered light, and although they can take considerable dry periods, they do well with the occasional deep watering, especially in the heat of summer.  Avoid watering at all in the winter, and let them dry out and have a dormant period.

They don't seem to have any soil preferences, but I would say keep it well drained - most bulbous plants resent having wet feet, and it can start a bad situation of rotting, especially in plants like these with tightly packed bulbs.

Another thing to keep in mind with this plant is that it's extremely toxic to pets, and being somewhat grass like, cats will eat it; the toxins in it will cause renal failure, and have resulted in cats meeting a bad end, so please use caution when displaying it.

Tiny sprays of blooms will emerge in early to mid summer if conditions are right...

In the fullness of time, and with the right conditions (bright light, but not full sun, the occasional drying out period) these plants may bloom.  Although not spectacular, the flowers are interesting, especially in macro view.

More pictures of this great little plant here...

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