The Lovely Plants

Lovely, Hardy, Musky and Delightful: Muscari armeniacum

Muscari is a genus of bulbous plants from Europe and the Mediterranean regions and are known for their spectacular flowers and delightful musky fragrance. These lovely bloomers do not require much care, in fact, they would do well even when neglected, and grow in almost anywhere in a garden. Most species can be grown in beds, containers, rock gardens, borders or even in mass plantation schemes where they would grow in clusters and produce prolific flowers of purple-blue or white color.

Muscari armeniacum, Image by Kai Yan, Joseph Wong

Small Muscari flowers grow in clusters on short stalks (up to 10 inches) in spring and emit musky fragrance thus justifying its name – Muscari (derived from Greek word moschos, meaning ‘musk’). These thick clusters of purple flowers often look like bunches of grapes, that is why, these plants are commonly described as Grape Hycinths. The lovely flowers of Muscari are often seen in the background of dark-green foliage that only dies in summer followed by new growth of fresh-green leaves.

Muscari are very easy to grow – they only need full to partial sun, and a rich, moist but well-drained soil. The bulbs can be planted in containers or beds in late summer. For best results, bulbs should be sown in groups or clusters. These clustered plants would produce abundance of flowers that emit delightful fragrance and attract bees and butterflies. For added effects, companion plants like Alyssum, Forsythia, Iris or Narcissus can be grown with Muscari.

Popular species of Muscari include Muscari armeniacum and M. botryoides.