Just when you were gazing at your narcissus and early tulips and wishing the blue of scilla siberica would last longer, along comes muscari armeniacum, or Grape Hyacinth. The name “Muscari” is derived from the Latin word “muscus.” The flowers are supposed to smell musky, although I have never thought so.
I love this unassuming little bulb for many reasons.
Like scilla it’s both hardy and inexpensive. It blooms in mid-spring, just when you need a strong blue foil for your other spring flowering bulbs. It makes a very nice cut flower if you have a diminuitive vase or two, and it naturalizes well. I found a brave pioneer in the grass out by my driveway this morning, and it’s welcome to stay and multiply there.
M. Armeniacum hails from Eurasia. It grows to about eight inches tall, although the ones I see around here are more like four to six. It grows in zones 3-9, and like other bulbs, needs sun and above all, good drainage.
There are other cultivars and other colors and shades of blue, but this one is definitely my favorite.