Sunday spotlight: Muscari armeniacum.

This week’s Sunday Monday Spotlight comes to you courtesy of my garden, where small drifts of grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum) are now in full bloom:

So far these poisonous plants have been left untouched by the hares that run rampant all over the rest of my garden…I can’t say the same for my Scilla (a relative of Muscari), which are also poisonous.  Do hares have a refined tolerance for certain toxic alkaloids, I wonder?  Or do they just lay around afterwards, moaning and clutching their stomachs with furry paws, grumbling about “something I ate?”  Muscari are on the “deer-resistant” list as well, so they might be a good early spring-flowering selection if you’re bothered by these pests (which, thankfully, I am not.  I would go certifiably mad if I had to deal with them on top of the hares and squirrels).   To save my sanity, I plan to put in a lot more of these pretty harbingers of spring – forget the tulip salad bar that I’ve been desperately trying to sustain over the past three or four years!  🙂

Finally, in another case of common name confusion, grape hyacinths are actually not hyacinths at all, although they are from the same family (Asparagaceae).   You can read all about how to grow and cultivate muscari – and take a look at some of the most popular cultivars – in this fantastic article from Fine Gardening. 

If you have any plant suggestions for future Sunday Spotlights, please post them in the comments or Tweet me!  I’d be happy to feature them!  :)

Related posts:  Sunday Spotlight:  ‘White Russian’ Supertunia.