Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4, vol. 2. 1754.

Common names: Grape-hyacinth
Etymology: Greek moschos, musk, alluding to the scent of the flowers
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 316. Mentioned on page 57, 317, 318.

Herbs perennial, scapose, from brown, tunicate, ovoid bulbs, with or without offsets (bulblets). Leaves (1–)2–7, basal; blade linear, sometimes sulcate, glabrous, rather fleshy. Scape terete. Inflorescences terminally racemose, many-flowered, dense, bracteate, usually elongating in fruit; distal flowers smaller, sterile, differing in color, forming a tuft (coma); bracts minute. Flowers fragrant; perianth tubular to urceolate, usually constricted basally; tepals 6, connate most of their length, distal portions distinct, reflexed, short, toothlike; stamens 6, epitepalous, in 2 rows, included; anthers dark blue, dorsifixed, globose; ovary superior, green, 3-locular, inner sepal nectaries present; style 1; stigma 3-lobed. Fruits capsular, obtusely 3-angled, papery, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 6, black, globose, wrinkled to reticulate. x = 9.


Introduced; temperate Europe, n Africa, sw Asia, expected introduced elsewhere.


Species ca. 30 (3 in the flora).

Various species and cultivated forms of Muscari are commonly grown for their early spring flowers. They may reseed in the flora area, but they are mostly transported in soil containing the bulblets.

Muscari armeniacum Baker has been attributed to the flora, but no definite records of naturalized plants have been found. Herbarium specimens of that species are difficult to distinguish from those of M. neglectum, but live specimens of M. armeniacum have much paler blue flowers (A. Huxley et al. 1992).

Selected References



1 Tepals of fertile flowers pale to olive brown, sterile flowers bright violet, shorter than the 6–25 mm ascending pedicels. Muscari comosum
1 Tepals of fertile and sterile flowers blue, longer than the 1–4(–5) mm declined, nodding, or spreading pedicels. > 2
2 Racemes 12–20-flowered; leaf blades 3–8 mm wide; perianth tubes of fertile flowers globose, sky blue. Muscari botryoides
2 Racemes 20–40-flowered; leaf blades 2–4(–5) mm; perianth tubes of fertile flowers obovoid to oblong-urceolate or cylindric, blackish blue. Muscari neglectum