Grape hyacinths (also known by their Latin name of Muscari) are one of the first flower bulbs to bloom in the spring. This harsh cold season could really use the colour they add to a garden. Now, this little beauty has been named ‘Flower Bulb of the Year for 2019’.
What’s in a name?
The name ‘Grape Hyacinth’ is perfect for this little bulb flower. After all, each of their flower clusters looks like a miniature cluster of grapes. Did you know that these elegant beauties symbolize humility and modesty? This is because you have to get down on your knees to admire them. Muscari, their official scientific name, sounds more sophisticated. This name refers to the word ‘musk’ due to the musk-like fragrance that some varieties produce.
Plenty of choice
There are about forty different varieties of grape hyacinths, but the most familiar one is Muscari armeniacum. Although called Grape Hyacinth, not all varieties are purple. Some are blue, pink, or white or even display two colors. The original habitat of these popular little flower bulbs includes the Mediterranean, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Did you know that grape hyacinths could be purchased as far back as 1596? At that time, they cost what would now be 4.50 euros a bulb.
An all-round good flower bulb
Grape hyacinths can easily tolerate frost and are also easy to grow. You can leave them undisturbed where they will naturalize and increase in number every year. No wonder that any garden could do with some grape hyacinths. The plant itself grows to a height of 4 to 10 inches with each little bulb producing more than one cluster of flowers.
For a delightful scent of musk in the garden, the following varieties are ideal: Muscari aucheri ‘Blue Magic’, Muscari armeniacum ‘Blue Spike’, Muscari botryoides ‘Album’ or Muscari macrocarpum ‘Golden Fragrance’. For a patio or balcony, most varieties (Muscari armeniacum being the most commonly used) can be planted in pots.
For a real eye-catching display of colour, groups of at least 25 grape hyacinth bulbs can be planted close together.
More information about flower bulbs is available at www.flowerbulbs.com.