Muscari latifolium

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Common Name: grape hyacinth
Type: Bulb
Family: Asparagaceae
Native Range: Southern and western Asia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Blue, purple
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Black Walnut

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Plant bulbs about 3” deep and 3” apart in fall. Good soil drainage is essential. Bulbs are otherwise adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions. Flowers emerge in early spring. Keep ground moist during the spring growing season, but reduce watering after foliage begins to die back. Plants of this species go dormant in summer. Naturalizes by bulb offsets and self-seeding, although it usually takes at least 4 years before a seed-grown plant will flower.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Muscari latifolium is native to pine forests in Turkey, this species of grape hyacinth is a perennial bulb that is perhaps the largest of the muscaris, typically growing to 12” tall. It is distinguished by the fact that each bulb produces a single bicolored flower raceme that is encircled at the base by a solitary basal leaf. Each scape is topped in early spring by a conical raceme (to 2.5” long) of tightly packed, urn-shaped flowers. The lower fertile flowers on the raceme are dark violet and the upper sterile flowers are a soft violet blue, giving each raceme a somewhat two-tone effect. The dense inflorescence purportedly resembles an elongated, upside-down bunch of grapes, hence the common name.

Genus name comes from the Turkish name recorded by Clusius in 1583. Possibly from the Latin word muscus in reference to flower aroma.

Specific epithet means broad-leaved.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Provides spectacular drifts of color when massed in open areas, around shrubs, under deciduous trees, in the rock garden or in the border front. Also mixes well with other early blooming bulbs. Popular container plant. Also forces easily for winter bloom.