GARDEN GRAPE-HYACINTH

Muscari armeniacum

Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8may

status
statusZneophyte
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8white
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ6
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZspiked
type
typeZbell
stem
stem8round
toxicity
toxicityZmedium

28th april 2010, Craven Arms, Shropshire. Photo: © RWD
Unlike the native Grape-Hyacinth with its dark blackish-blue flowers, Garden Grape-hyacinth is a garden escapee with bright royal-blue flowers. Spreads either by seed or vegetatively.


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Like Grape-Hyacinth the leaves are linear to oblanceolate.


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Like Grape-Hyacinth the flowers are in a clustered spike at the top of a smooth stem.


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers at the top are sterile like those of Grape-Hyacinth but the fertile flowers below are slightly smaller at 3.5 - 5.5mm (as opposed to 3.5 - 7.5mm for Grape-Hyacinth).


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The flowers are oblate spheroids before opening. The opening is small and has 6 very short peeled-back petals / tepals which are either whitish or heliotrope light-purple.


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The closed flowers show that there are three outer tepals and 3 inner petals, as usual for the Asperagaceae family (but other books say they are just tepals - take your pick).


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The fertile flowers have six stamens bearing white pollen and 3-celled ovary (hidden within).


29th March 2018, back paths, Formby, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Dark anthers with white pollen.


Not to be semantically confused with : Oregon-grape (Mahonia aquifolium), Black-grape Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster ignotus), Grape-vine (Vitis vinifera), Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) [plants with similar names belonging to differing families].

Can be mistaken for : other Grape-hyacinths such as Grape-Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum) (but that is a Quink Ink Bbue-black) and Compact Grape-hyacinth (Muscari botryoides) (but that has longer(?) leaves [to 60cm - Fitter, Fitter & Blamey; to 20cm - Stace. Take your pick] which have a hooded tip and broaden considerably broader at apex. This latter also has bright-blue flowers with a white opening. Lookee-Likees : Flower ()

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Features : see captions


  Muscari armeniacum  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Asparagaceae  

Distribution
 family8Asparagus family8Asparagaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Muscari
Muscari
(Grape-Hyacinths)

GARDEN GRAPE-HYACINTH

Muscari armeniacum

Asparagus Family [Asparagaceae]