These inexpensive flowers will grow for generations to come.
Muscari, or grape hyacinths, are as fragrant as they are beautiful. Small, vibrant, early-spring bloomers, muscari also are wonderfully inexpensive. Best of all, they are long-lived and will bloom for generations. Muscari spread at will, both by self-seeding and division. Most varieties grow 6 to 8 inches tall and produce spikes of closed blooms that resemble bunches of grapes, in vivid blue or white. They hold their colorful place in the garden for up to 4 weeks.
Muscari flowers are excellent indoors as small spring bouquets or from bulbs forced for early bloom.
Latin Name: Muscari armeniacum Common Name: Grape hyacinth Zone: 4-9 Description: Muscari armeniacum creates a neon carpet of blue, which offers striking contrast to the peeling white bark of a birch tree or teams perfectly with red tulips and yellow daffodils. Try the double-blooming variety 'Blue Spike.'
Latin Name: Muscari botryoides Common Name: Grape hyacinth Zone: 4-9 Description: The clustered bloom of this muscari is sweetly fragrant. M. botryoides 'Album' is an all-white variety. Plant bulbs 2 inches apart for best results.
Latin Name: Muscari comosum 'Plumosum' Common Name: Feather hyacinth, tassel hyacinth Zone: 5-9 Description: The plumelike blooms of this muscari differ greatly from other varieties. Growing 6 to 8 inches tall, its blooms appear almost shredded, unlike the clumpy grapelike blooms of other muscari. Use these plants in rock gardens and as understory plantings.
Latin Name: Muscari latifolium Common Name: One-leaf grape hyacinth Zone: 3-9 Description: This early-blooming species sports two-toned blossoms of blue and purple. The plants grow 4 to 6 inches tall and naturalize well in sun or shade.
Location: Full sun or part shade When to plant: Fall General Instructions: Plant muscari as soon as the bulbs become available in garden centers. Plant 3 inches deep and 2 to 3 inches apart. These little bulbs produce the best show if planted closely together and in large quantities. Muscari do well in many locations, including perennial borders, lawns, rock gardens, and at the feet of deciduous trees and shrubs.
After the blooms are spent, allow the leaves to wither before clipping so the bulbs gather strength for next spring's blooming. Once established, muscari often send up foliage in the fall but will not bloom until spring.