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Grape Hyacinth Muscari armeniacum

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

Muscari armeniacum, or Grape Hyacinth is an early to mid spring-blooming bulbous perennial herb that is can grow up to 6" tall. It features slightly fragrant, densely packed, deep violet blue, bell-shaped flowers that resemble 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.  

This plant does best in full sun or partial shade, under cool and moist conditions, and is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. 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. Each bulb produces 1-3 stems with 20-40 flowers per scape. Keep the soil moist during the spring growing season, but reduce watering after foliage begins to die back. Plants are dormant from late spring to autumn when leaves again appear.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

This plant is occasionally damaged by deer, but otherwise is generally pest and disease free.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cantab'
    Cantab' has sky blue, sweetly scented flowers that bloom slightly later than other Muscari. ‘Cantab’ grows 0.5 to 0.75 ft. tall
  • 'Christmas Pearl'
    Soft violet blue flowers that bloom in March, earlier than the species. It grows 0.5 to 0.75 ft. tall and 0.25 to 0.5 ft. wide.
  • 'Valerie Finnis'
    Each bulb sends up 1-3 rigid flower spikes (8" tall) with elongated, cone-shaped, mildly-fragrant, densely-packed blue flowers.
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#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#ebh-g#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cantab'
    Cantab' has sky blue, sweetly scented flowers that bloom slightly later than other Muscari. ‘Cantab’ grows 0.5 to 0.75 ft. tall
  • 'Christmas Pearl'
    Soft violet blue flowers that bloom in March, earlier than the species. It grows 0.5 to 0.75 ft. tall and 0.25 to 0.5 ft. wide.
  • 'Valerie Finnis'
    Each bulb sends up 1-3 rigid flower spikes (8" tall) with elongated, cone-shaped, mildly-fragrant, densely-packed blue flowers.
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#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#ebh-g#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Muscari
    Species:
    armeniacum
    Family:
    Liliaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern Europe, Armenia, Asia Minor
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 0 ft. 9 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • 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. In fruit, the capsules are scattered on the inflorescence axis.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    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 in dense racemes. 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 in the spring.
  • 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, grass-like, (to 12 inches 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:
    Black Walnut
    Drought
    Poor Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species