By: Garden Gate staff
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Big impact from small bulbs
Even though they’re small, grape hyacinths are major players in the spring garden — plant them in fall, and they’ll keep coming back for years. Plus, the flowers have a sweet scent.
Muscari armeniacum at left is probably the most popular member of the family. One of these bulbs usually produces one to three flower stems and grows 3 to 9 inches tall and 3 to 6 inches wide. It’s cold-hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8.
But while deep violet-blue may be the color that comes to mind when you hear “grape hyacinth,” there are plenty of other hues, as well as flower shapes, to choose from. Just keep clicking to take a look!
Muscari spp. and hybrids
Blooms Shades of blue, pink white or yellow in spring
Light Full sun to part shade
Size 3 to 10 in. tall, 3 to 6 in. wide
Cold-hardy USDA zones 4 to 9
Heat-tolerant AHS zones 9 to 1
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‘Pink Sunrise’ has the same classic form, size and hardiness as the other grape hyacinths.
However, the spikes start out pale pink and fade to nearly white with a clear white tip. Because it’s relatively new, expect to pay a bit more than you would for any of the other types.
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Great in shade
Muscari latifolium tolerates the most shade. Each bulb produces just one leaf and one flower stalk that grows up to 8 inches tall.
The flower heads have dark violet florets on the bottom that will produce seeds. The bright blue upper ones are sterile.
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‘Golden Fragrance’ (M. macrocarpum) has a soft, sweet scent that may remind you of gardenias. Each floret is larger than other grape hyacinths, but the flower spikes stay under 6 inches tall.
It grows best in USDA zones 6 to 9. However, with a winter mulch of straw or coarse leaves it has survived in zone 4.