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Muscari comosum - (L.)Mill.

Common Name Tassel Hyacinth, Tassel grape hyacinth
Family Hyacinthaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Hedgerows, edges of fields, woods and in short grass on dry soils[7, 50].
Range Europe. A frequent casual, rarely naturalized in Britain[17].
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Muscari comosum Tassel Hyacinth, Tassel grape hyacinth
Muscari comosum Tassel Hyacinth, Tassel grape hyacinth


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Muscari comosum is a BULB growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hyacinthus comosum. Leopoldia comosa.


Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Lawn; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - cooked[22, 61, 183]. It is about 35mm in diameter[200]. A slightly bitter taste[7] that is appreciated by certain ethnic groups, especially Greeks and Italians[183]. Used in spring[46, 177]. The cooked bulbs, preserved in oil, are used as a relish[183].


Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Appetizer  Diuretic  Poultice

The bulb is appetizer and diuretic[7, 183]. The bulb is rich in mucilage and can be crushed then applied as a poultice to reddened skin[7].


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Other Uses

Landscape Uses: Border, Container, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, forest garden.

Special Uses

Food Forest  Scented Plants


Cultivation details

Prefers a rich open well-drained soil[1]. Succeeds in any soil and situation[1, 42]. Does very well in short grass[1], increasing freely and it can become invasive[200]. The flowers have a pleasing perfume[245]. There is at least one named form, selected for its ornamental value[200].


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Seed - best sown as soon as ripe in a greenhouse[200]. The seed can also be sown in early spring in a greenhouse. A good proportion of the seed usually germinates within 2 - 3 months. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be left undisturbed in the pot for their first year of growth. Give them an occasional liquid feed in the growing season to ensure they do not become nutrient deficient. When the plants become dormant in late summer, pot up the small bulbs placing 2 - 3 bulbs in each pot. Grow them on for another one or two years in the greenhouse before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer. If you have sufficient seed then it is worthwhile trying sowing it in situ outdoors in early spring. This is rather a hit and miss method, but a lot less work than indoor sowing. Division of offsets in July/August after the leaves die down[1]. It can be done every other year if a quick increase is required[1]. Larger bulbs can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, but it is best to pot up the smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Liriope muscariLilyturf, Big blue lilyturf, Border Grass, Blue Lilyturf, LiriopePerennial0.3 5-10 SLMSNDM21 
Muscari botryoidesItalian Grape Hyacinth, Common grape hyacinth, White Grape HyacinthBulb0.3 3-8 MLMHSNDM102
Muscari neglectumGrape Hyacinth, Starch grape hyacinthBulb0.3 4-7 MLMHNDM202

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Saskia   Fri Jan 6 2006

The bulbs are known in italian cooking as "cipollini". Try searching for "cipollini recipes" on the internet for ideas on how to cook them - there's load of recipes out there. Otherwise they can be used in a similar way to onions.

Google search for cipollini recipes

Tony   Thu Jun 15 2006

Cipollini onions appear to be Allium cepa NOT Muscari comosum

Eloy   Sun Oct 15 2006

Online "Muscari comosum" and also "Allium cepa" refer to the Cipollini onion: Muscari comosum= Allium cepa=

Fabio D'Aleo   Sat Jan 6 2007

Hi, I'm from Italy. Muscari comosum is used ONLY in Puglia region (Apulia) and locally they are called "lampascioni" or "lampasciuni" or "lamponi". In the rest of Italy it's not easy to find someone who knows anything about it. Definitely they are not cipolline and flavor is rather different i would say.

Petros Thiveos   Wed Mar 21 2007

Hi, my name is Petros Thiveos and I am from Greece. I am looking for muscari comosum seeds so to make my own edible bulbs. Does anyone know where I can find big quantities of these seeds and when do I have to sow and how long does it take to become in edible size? Thanks in advance. Email me at "peteri at freemail dot gr"

A. Specchiulli   Thu Dec 27 2007


Frank Gentile   Thu Jun 19 2008

Excellent site for Tassel Hyacinth (Lampascioni, Lampasciuni, Lamponi, Pampascioni) seeds. Tough to grow from seeds but the greenhouse method suggested here sounds great. I find smallish bulbs sold in Brooklyn (but increasingly rare to find). I plant the small bulbs inthe garden and let them set seed in summer and dig them up after leaves are dead; the bulb size grows significantly larger this way.

Grow Italian / Seeds from Italy Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Lampasciuni, Lampascioni, Pampascioni

giuseppe   Sun Jul 13 2008

Hi, The Muscari comosum are commonly used in culunary dishes in the Puglia (Apulia, if you prefer)as well as other southern regions of Italy...Basilicata just to mention an other. As already stated by our friends , the muscari comosum is reffered in the Italian language as "lampascioni", "lampasciuni" or "lampascione". For the record ...they are also called vambasciul(in regional dialect) and cipollacce( wild onions)not be confused with cipolline, a name normally associated with pearl onions.

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