Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill.
Family: Asparagaceae
[Hyacinthus botryoides All.,  more]
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Plants to 20(-30) cm. Bulbs ovoid, 1.5-2.5 × 1-2 cm, offsets absent, tunics translucent to pale brown. Leaves 2-4(-5); blade prominently ribbed, linear-spatulate, 15-35(-40) cm × 3-8(-12) mm, apex abruptly contracted. Scape 20-35(-40) cm, usually slightly exceeding leaves. Racemes 12-20-flowered. Flowers: perianth tube sky blue, globose to ovoid, 2-4 × 2-3 mm, teeth white; fertile and sterile flowers ± equal (sterile may be slightly smaller and paler); pedicel spreading, 1-3(-5) mm. Capsules 4-6 × 4-6 mm. 2n = 18, 36. Flowering early--mid spring. Roadsides, fields, woods, abandoned gardens; 0--1500 m; introduced; B.C., Nfld. and Labr. (Nfld.), N.S., Ont.; Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Ill., Ind., Kans., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va.; c, se Europe; expected elsewhere. Muscari botryoides is the commonest and most cold-hardy of the Muscari species in the flora.

Perennial herb with a bulb to 30 cm tall Leaves: basal, two to five, upright, 15 - 35 cm long, 3 - 8 mm wide, linear with an abruptly contracted tip, flat or channeled. Inflorescence: a terminal, dense cluster (raceme) of twelve to twenty flowers on an upright stem. Flowers: nodding, blue to purple, 2 - 4 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide, spherical to egg-shaped, with six small, white teeth. Stamens six. Anthers dark blue. Fruit: a three-angled capsule, 4 - 6 mm long, 4 - 6 mm wide. Seeds six.

Similar species: The similar Muscari neglectum differs mainly by the shape and width of its leaves, which are nearly cylindrical and no more than 3 mm wide.

Flowering: April to late May

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. An occasional escape from cultivation. It has been found in waste ground, lawns, and woods.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Etymology: Muscari comes from the Greek word moschus, which means musk. Botryoides means "resembling a cluster of grapes."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Lvs flat, narrowly linear-oblanceolate, to 2.5 dm, 3-8(-10) mm wide, scapes 1-2 dm at anthesis, to 4 dm in fr; raceme ovoid-cylindric and 2-4 cm at anthesis, elongating in fr; fls all blue, all fertile except a few at the tip, nodding, exceeding their slender pedicels; perianth globular-urceolate, 4-5 mm; 2n=18, 36. Native of Europe, escaped from cult. into waste places nearly throughout our range. Apr., May.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Kurt Stueber  
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Kai Yan, Joseph Wong  
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