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Muscari armeniacum

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
moo-SKAR-ee ar-mee-nee-AY-kum
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Muscari armeniacum is an early to mid spring-blooming bulbous perennial herb that is native to southeastern Europe, including Armenia and grows up to 6" tall. It features conical racemes of slightly fragrant, tightly packed, deep violet blue, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in April and May. The dense inflorescence resembles an elongated, upside-down bunch of grapes, hence the common name. This plant naturalizes readily and may become invasive under ideal conditions. This plant is used in open areas, in grassy slopes, in the edges of rock gardens, and among shrubs and in naturalized drifts. Inflorescences with buds and flowers are a congested raceme. They are linear to elliptic, and the rachis expand moving the flower away from those ready for pollination. In fruit, the capsules are scattered on the inflorescence axis. 

This plant does best in full sun or partial shade, under cool and moist conditions. It tolerates summer drought, but requires moisture during growing season. Propagate by removing offsets every 4 to 5 years. Seed propagation is slow, and takes 4 years to bloom. When planting, bury bulbs to a depth of 5 in. to the base, spacing 3-4 in. apart or 10-20 per sq. ft. This plant is occasionally damaged by deer, but otherwise is generally pest and disease free.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Flowering scape is cone-shaped in the spring
  • Flowers are purple, nodding, urceolate, and in dense racemes
  • Grass-like, linear leaves in basal rosette
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#hardy#bulb#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#purple flowers#slow growing#aromatic#mass planting#moist soil#woodland#rock gardens#borders#spring interest#fantz#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#ebh#ebh-g
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#purple#hardy#bulb#showy flowers#full sun#partial shade#drought tolerant#purple flowers#slow growing#aromatic#mass planting#moist soil#woodland#rock gardens#borders#spring interest#fantz#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#ebh#ebh-g
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Muscari
    Species:
    armeniacum
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southern Europe, Asia Minor
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Open
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    This plant produces 3-lobed capsules that are green to brown in color.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are numerous, royal blue with a thin white rim on each bell, urceolate, fragrant, and nodding. The perianth fused most of length, lobes are minute, paler, or white. Sterile flowers usually appear on the upper part of the raceme and are few in number, smaller, and paler. Flowers bloom in mid-spring (April/May). Inflorescence is a crowded, scapose raceme, 1-3" in length, and is cone shaped with buds.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow, linear, fleshy, basal, green leaves (to 12” long and less than an inch wide) that appear in autumn and live through winter to spring when the plants flower and are often sequal to exceeding scape.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Invasive Species