Friday, December 28, 2007

White Grape Hyacinth Muscari botryoides 'Album'

White Grape Hyacinth
Muscari botryoides 'Album'
(mus-KAR-ee) (bot-ROY-dees)
Hyacinthaceae

These pictures are from spring. The Grape Hyacinth is always a welcome sight to me in the spring. It is a reliable, hardy bloomer that naturalizes and spreads but in a way that is not weedy or invasive. Some people do consider it invasive but I really don’t mind it popping up in the garden. This white flowered form spreads a little less quickly and can be used on its own or, as I like, in combination with the blue flowered ones. The Grape Hyacinth is at home in borders, rock gardens, woodland gardens and even in lawns. If you do plant them in grass don’t cut the grass until the bulb foliage has turned brown. They are excellent cut flowers and are easy to force indoors. If you look at the top photo on this page you will see an example of ‘river’ planting with the blue type. One of my favorite local plantings of Muscari is at the Pepsico gardens in Westchester County. 1000's of blue Muscari planted under the White Birch forest. It really is lovely.


Muscari is native to Europe and Asia Minor and have been in cultivation since the mid-1500’s. There are several species of garden interest including Muscari latifolium, which has light and dark blue flowers on the same stem. Muscari armeniacum, which is most often thought of as the traditional ‘Grape Hyacinth’ and is the most recognizable. M. azureum and the less seen M. comosum also are species worth having in the garden. I have found them to reasonably deer resistant but have had them eaten before. The ‘Album’ type grows to about 6 to 8 inches tall and flower for several weeks.

I took these picture with my Nikon Coolpix 5400 and it was possibly the last time I used that camera. I should get it out again as I love using it. My friend, who is a fine photographer, was putting down Point and Shoot cameras the other day. He felt you needed your eye to a viewfinder in order to compose a shot properly. I had to disagree but basically kept the fact that I love taking flower photos with P&S cameras to myself. For the top picture I wouldn’t have ever been able to get that perspective with my DSLR. Well maybe if I had dug a hole for the camera to shoot up from and laid on my stomach. I also love the minimum focusing distance with the compact cameras; it is something under 2 inches with the 5400.

7 comments:

misti said...

I do love the first perspective. Very different! I might just take some like that this weekend!

Point and shoots have their value. I still love what we get off the Fuji, plus I still get to take photos while Chris uses the Rebel. We uploaded some of our old Sony Mavica CD camera photos the other day to Flickr and those weren't too bad either. It was reliable for five years and then just went kaput. Point and shoots have their place for sure!

bonnie said...

I use point and shoot cameras and my photography is what gives them a bad name. I have a fugi E550. It's pretty heavy now. I just took my daughter's cannon SD750 because she got the Rebel xti for Christmas. If I took the time to read the manual, I'd probably learn something. :-)
Happy New Year. Besenji's are absolutely not nice. None of them.

Muum said...

Nice perspective, and I love those white ones, too. I have some of the more common blue,and love them, but they are contained in a bed that they haven't gotten out of yet (just trying to take it over) . I just throw out some of the bulbs when I am weeding to thin them out when they get too thick. I wish the white variety was as prolific! I have some, but not enough!

Digital Flower Pictures said...

So two votes for Point and Shoots!

muum, I think that is a good idea to keep them under control as you go along.

NYCindividual said...

Great perspective in the first photo! Beautiful flowers beautiful photos!

Sandy Kessler said...

I love the grape hyacinth but had only seen purple !!!

deb said...

I am looking for a picture of a rose called Oceana. It is a tea, used by florists. Peach in color and the stem is long and brown in color. No thorns. Can anyone help.