GRAPE HYACINTH

FAMILY: Asparagaceae | GENUS: MUSCARI

TYPE
  • Bulbs
  • Perennials
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8

Plant Details

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

muscari armeniacum

  • 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.

muscari aucheri

  • Stems to 8 inches tall.
  • Flowers on lower part of spike are bright blue; those on upper part are paler blue.

muscari azureum

  • 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).

muscari botryoides

  • An old-time favorite.
  • Medium blue, lightly scented flowers on stems to 1 feet tall.
  • Album has white flowers.

fringe hyacinth, tassel hyacinth

muscari comosum

  • 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.

muscari latifolium

  • 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.

starch hyacinth

muscari neglectum

  • 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.

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