Grape hyacinth

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 Muscari subsp. var.  Grape hyacinth
M. racemosum / neglectum
Habit: bulbous
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: perennial
Features: flowers
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Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features: blue, purple, white
Hyacinthaceae > Muscari var. ,

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Grape hyacinths are a group of plants in the genus Muscari of plants native to Eurasia that produce spikes of blue flowers resembling bunches of grapes. There are about forty species.

Some species are among the earliest to bloom in the spring, and are planted both in flower beds as well as in lawns. They tend to multiply quickly when planted in good soils.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Muscari (Latin name referring to the musky odor of M. moschatum Liliaceae. Grape Hyacinth. Excellent hardy spring-blooming bulbs.

Flowers in racemes or spikes; perianth urn-shaped, slightly or distinctly constricted at mouth; segms. 6-dentate, commonly reflexed; stamens in a double cylindrical tube; ovary 3-celled, sessile, globose- trigonal: caps, sessile, globose; seeds subglobose, black, glistening: bulbs membranous, tunicated.— About 45 species in Sicily, Algeria, European Medit., Spain, Asia Minor, and the Orient. All grape hyacinths are very much alike and are very interesting, botanically, horticulturally and from the artistic point of view. The group needs botanical revision badly. The chief literary sources are Baker in Jour. Linn. Soc., Vol. 11 (1871), and in G.C. II. 9:798 (1878); also Boissier's Flora Orientalis. The width of the lvs. is an important character, and Baker's measurements seem to refer to herbarium specimens. Live plants should be wider. (A line is a twelfth of an inch.) They are something like a hyacinth, but the clusters are smaller, and the individual fls. are smaller and of a different shape, the grape hyacinths being constricted at the mouth and having 6 small teeth instead of the prominent perianth-segms., as in the true hyacinth.

The common grape hyacinth, which every garden lover knows, is called M. botryoides, which means "like a bunch of grapes." Everybody who has any ground for gardening should have some bulbs of this common kind, both blue-flowered and white. All the other kinds described below are fancier's plants, interesting chiefly to skilled amateurs. Among them the most remarkable is the feathered hyacinth (M. comosum var. monstrosum), which is a mass of lilac shreds (see Fig. 2404). Any species of Muscari is likely to have some sterile flowers at the top of the cluster which are often of a different color, but in the feathered hyacinth there is no suggestion left of the urn-shaped flower, sterile and fertile flowers all being cut into fine strips. This attractive plant has been sold for fancy prices by a few progressive florists.

Grape hyacinths are neat little early flowering bulbous plants, good-sized colonies of which give dainty effects in the border from February to May. There are numerous species of these, flowering at different times. They are mostly dark purple in color, either self-colored or tipped with white. There are also a few white and yellow forms, and several species with true blue flowers, the rarest color among flowers, though this would never be discovered in catalogues. M. Szovitsianum, one of the true blue forms, is quite the prettiest of the genus. The plant known to the trade as M. lingulatum, or Hyacinthus azureus, has the true blue of M. Szovit- sianum, and is fully a month earlier. The usual forms grown in gardens are mostly blue (purple) and white forms of M. botryoides. M. conicum is very dark. The Dutch catalogues offer numerous kinds to suit amateurs and differing conditions. Muscari offer no difficulties in cultivation. A medium soil perhaps suits them best, but they are usually thrifty growers, and persistent in the garden if foliage is allowed to ripen. They mostly make offsets freely, and produce abundant seed.

M Argaei, little known botanically, is said to be extra good. In the trade, M. atlanticum is given as a synonym. Baker said he could not distinguish M. atlanticum from M. neglectum.— V atlanticum. Consult the preceding entry, M. Argaei.—M. azureum, Hort., is said by Van Tubergen to be the same as Hyacinthus azureus, which in turn is referred to as H. ciliatus by Index Kewensis. Gn. 30:126. Van Tubergen also advertises var. amphibolis (M. Freynianum).—M. Motelayi, is offered by Van Tubergen.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

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about 40, including:

Muscari armeniacum
Muscari aucheri
Muscari azureum
Muscari botryoides
Muscari comosum
Muscari latifolium
Muscari muscarimi (=M. moschatum)
Muscari racemosum (= M. neglectum)



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