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.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This species is commonly cultivated and has been reported as an escape in several parts of the state. I have never collected it except in our own orchard where it has escaped.