Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill. - Grape Hyacinth

Muscari botryoides plant

Family - Liliaceae

Stems - Underground stem a bulb. Flowering stem (scape) to 30cm tall, glabrous, often glaucous, single from base, simple, herbaceous, erect, green below, purplish in inflorescence.

Leaves - Basal, linear, entire, glabrous, to +20cm long, +5mm broad, grooved or broadly "U" shaped in cross section.

Inflorescence - Terminal dense indeterminate raceme to +/-6cm long (tall). Pedicels to 5mm long, glabrous, slightly elongating in fruit.

Muscari botryoides inflorescence

Flowers - Perianth subglobose to urcreolate, blue-purple, glabrous, of united parts, to 6mm long, with 6 small lobes at apex. Lobes white, 1mm long. Stamens 6, adnate to base of perianth, included. Style 1, included. Stigma 3-lobed. Ovary superior, 3-locular. Capsules 3-angled, glabrous, glaucous, 5mm long and broad. Seeds 2 per locule, black.

Muscari botryoides flowers

Muscari botryoides fruitsFruits.

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Typically cultivated but also escaped to fields, pastures, old homesites, roadsides, railroads.

Origin - Native to Europe.

Other info. - This is a very popular plant in cultivation because it is easy to grow and quite striking. The small blue inflated flowers are hard to miss. There are actually sterile and fertile flowers in the inflorescence. The sterile flowers are smaller and at the apex of the inflorescence.
This species can be found growing wild in a number of counties scattered throughout Missouri. There are at least two other species of Muscari in cultivation that have escaped into the wilds of the state.

Photographs taken off Strathbury Rd., Platte County, MO., 7-2-00, and in Brown Summit, NC., 4-5-03.


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