A delicate, small plant that recently has been appearing locally in nurseries, garden centers and plant shops is Scilla violacea. This tender bulb is a close relative of the hardy garden Scilla; both are members of the lily family. But his Scilla is different - it keeps its striking foliage year round and for this reason it is of interest to indoor gardeners.

The leaves of Scilla violacea are deep-green-Spotted on a silvery background, with undersides flushed with a rosy wine color. Spikes of tiny greenish flowers rise above the mottled leaves with an airy grace. The plant is only about eight inches tall, so it is suited for a minature garden of terrariums.

Scilla violacea should be grown in bright light but not direct sun. An east window that receives morning sun and bright light the rest of the day is fine. The light from a west or south window is good in the fall and winter but needs to be curtained in summer. Fluorescent light culture suits this Scilla well, if lights are kept burning 14 to 16 hours a day.

Give the plant moderate warmth - 60 to 72 degrees, and high relative humidity - 40 to 60 percent with good air circulation. Keep the soil moderately moist at all times.

This charming little plant is usually grown several bulbs to a pot. It is propagated by separating the bulbs in the fall, replanting them, barely covered, in Black Magic Planter, African Violet Mix or the equivalent.

Grow Scilla violacea for its interesting foliage because its flowering is brief.

[TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE] shoots from the base of the plant as it multiplies in its pot. It can be divided or repotted any time is is not in flower.

To divide it, simply take it out of the pot and cut the rootstock into pieces, each with several leaves. Replant these in a general purpose potting soil, several divisions to a 6-inch pot, so you won't have to wait too long before the pot is full enough again to produce blooms.