Native to the Mediterranean and southwestern Asia. Clumps of grassy, fleshy leaves appear in fall and live through cold and snow. Spikes of small, typically urn-shaped blue or white flowers (fragrant, in some species) bloom in early spring. Deer and rodent resistant.
armenian grape hyacinth
- Bright blue, slightly fragrant flowers on 8 inches stems rise above a clump of floppy foliage.
- Blue Spike has double blue flowers in a tight cluster at top of spike.
- Early Giant blooms somewhat earlier than the species, has darker blue flowers edged in white.
- Cantab, with light blue blossoms, grows lower than the species and has neater foliage and a later bloom time.
- Christmas Pearl is also earlier and is easy to force without much chilling.
- Valerie Finnis has lightly fragrant, powder-blue flowers tightly packed onto 6- to 8 inches-tall stems in a roughly spiral pattern.
- Spreads more slowly than other types.
- Stems to 8 inches tall.
- Flowers on lower part of spike are bright blue; those on upper part are paler blue.
- Blossom spikes are between those of hyacinth and grape hyacinth in appearance.
- Stalks to 8 inches high bear tight clusters of fragrant, sky-blue flowers that have a bell shape (rather than the usual urn shape).
- An old-time favorite.
- Medium blue, lightly scented flowers on stems to 1 feet tall.
- Album has white flowers.
fringe hyacinth, tassel hyacinth
- Bears loose clusters of unusual, tattered-looking flowers on 1- to 1 12 feet stems.
- Blossoms are greenish brown on lower part of spike, bluish purple on upper part.
- Plumosum, feathered or plume hyacinth, produces violet-blue to reddish purple flowers that look like shredded coconut.
- Possibly the showiest of the grape hyacinths.
- Each bulb produces just one leaf and a flowering stem to 6 inches tall.
- Flowers on lower part of spike are deepest violet, those on upper part vivid indigo blue.
- Stems about 6 inches tall.
- Lower part of bloom spike holds tightly crowded, very dark blue blossoms edged in white, while upper part is set with pale blue blooms.
- Flowers are said to smell like laundry starch.
Plant in early fall, setting bulbs about 2 inches deep and 3 inches apart in well-drained soil. Plant in masses or drifts under flowering trees or shrubs; use in edgings and rock gardens; grow in containers. Very long lived. Dig and divide when clumps become crowded. Plants self-sow under favorable conditions. Naturalized grape hyacinths are often seen blooming in old cemeteries.