white squill


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to white squill: Urginea maritima

squill

 [skwil]
1. any of various plants of the genus Urginea, especially U. maritima or U. indica.
2. the fleshy inner scales of the bulb of U. maritima or U. indica; a distinction is made between those with white bulbs (white squill) and those with red bulbs (red squill).
red squill
1. a variety of Urginea maritima that has red bulbs.
2. the fleshy inner scales of the bulb of this plant, a source of the cardiac glycoside scilliroside; it can cause convulsions or cardiac arrest and is used as a rodenticide.
white squill
1. a variety of Urginea maritima that has white bulbs.
2. the fleshy inner scales of the bulb of this plant; it contains several cardioactive glycosides.

sea onion

Herbal medicine
A cabbage-like plant that grows in the sandy soils of the Mediterranean rim and South Africa. Of the two variants—red and white squill—the latter is of greater use as a herb, as it has less of the toxin scilliroside; the active principles in squill are antitussive, cardiotonic (due to scillarens A and B), diuretic and expectorant.

Toxicity
Scilliroside is a potent emetic, and was formerly used as a rat poison.