April 23, 2017

Ape the Grape

Muscari - grape hyacinth

Janine Pineo Photo | Muscari – grape hyacinth

In the world of plants, the common name may have absolutely nothing to do with the flora in question. Take the grape hyacinth, taxonomically known as Muscari. It is neither a grape or related to a grape, nor is it a hyacinth although they are related. But because the flower looks a bit like a bunch of purple grapes and kind of like a hyacinth, well, there you go. This bulbous perennial is a native of the Old World, with references dating back to 1601. It is one of the early spring flowers, growing only 6 to 8 inches tall, with spikes of urn-shaped flowers clustered like a bunch of grapes. There is a scent, a musk, from whence the name Muscari is derived. If they are happy in their location, they will spread over time, making a stream of blue wherever they roam.