Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Grape Hyacinth AKA Lent Flowers

Looking for somthing that becomes misted blue every April? We suggest considering grape hyacinth. Muscari, it's genus name derived from the Greek word for musk, alludes to the delicious fragrance, it originated mostly in Italy, Greece, North Africa, Turkey, Armenia, and the Caucasus.
The flowers of this genus typically cluster like grapes on the stalk, hence the common name grape hyacinth. Some say the folksy name “starch lilies” relates to their aroma, but elsewhere I’ve read that the mucilaginous bulbs were actually once used for stiffening linen. In ecclesiastical gardens they’re sometimes labeled as “lent flowers” or “church steeples.” These bulbs like full sun and sandy soil. Frost resistant , attractive to bees, easy to care for and add true blue beauty. Work well in Zones 4 to 8 and are virtually pest-proof. For the best results, plant grape hyacinths 3 to 4 inches apart and 2 to 3 inches deep. Most varieties that have been in the ground at least a year will send up leaves in the fall that last through winter until the flower blooms. To propagate by division, lift, split, and replant the bulb clusters in late summer when the plants are dormant.

No comments: