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Muscari neglectum - Guss. ex Ten.

Common Name Grape Hyacinth, Starch grape hyacinth
Family Hyacinthaceae
USDA hardiness 4-7
Known Hazards The bulb is poisonous[4]. It contains a substance called comisic acid, which is said to act like saponin[4]. Although poisonous, saponins are poorly absorbed by the human body and so most pass through without harm. Saponins are quite bitter and can be found in many common foods such as some beans. They can be removed by carefully leaching the seed or flour in running water. Thorough cooking, and perhaps changing the cooking water once, will also normally remove most of them. However, it is not advisable to eat large quantities of food that contain saponins. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish[K].
Habitats Dry grassland in sandy soils[4, 17].
Range Mediterranean region, north to Britain, Belgium, Germany and S. Russia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Muscari neglectum Grape Hyacinth, Starch grape hyacinth


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Muscari neglectum Grape Hyacinth, Starch grape hyacinth
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Summary

Bloom Color: Blue. Main Bloom Time: Early spring. Form: Irregular or sprawling.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of bulb
Muscari neglectum is a BULB growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from July to August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

M. atlanticum. M. racemosum.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Lawn;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Root
Edible Uses:

Bulb - cooked[2, 132, 177, 183]. The bulb is up to 25mm diameter[200]. One report says that the bulb might be poisonous[4]. The flowers, sprinkled over rhubarb, add a wonderful scented flavour[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

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.


None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

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

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife  Food Forest  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Prefers a rich open well-drained soil and a sunny position[1, 90]. Easily grown in any well-drained soil[90]. Grows very well in short grass[1], increasing freely[42] and it can become invasive[200]. A very variable plant[89, 200]. The flowers secrete lots of nectar and are a valuable bee plant in the spring[4]. The flowers are said to have a smell like wet starch[4] whilst another report says that they are deliciously plum-scented[245]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Naturalizing, Fragrant flowers.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

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. 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

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 SLMSNDM212
Muscari botryoidesItalian Grape Hyacinth, Common grape hyacinth, White Grape HyacinthBulb0.3 3-8 MLMHSNDM102
Muscari comosumTassel Hyacinth, Tassel grape hyacinthBulb0.5 4-8  LMHSNDM312

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.

 

Expert comment

Author

Guss. ex Ten.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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