grape hyacinth

Muscari armeniacumSuperstar‘ (grape hyacinth) is a member of the Asparagaceae family and brings an interesting periwinkle flower color to the early spring garden.

In Lurie Garden, the grape hyacinth is found where the iconic “Salvia River” will appear weeks later. This planting serves as early spring color for the area but also as a foreshadowing of the purple strip that Lurie Garden is known for.

Muscari armeniacum is native to the woods and meadows of Greece and Turkey to the Russian Caucasus. ‘Superstar‘ is a selection of the species, chosen for its lighter periwinkle flower color rather than the royal blue of the species. Plants of M. armeniacumSuperstar‘ grow up to 8-9 in. tall and are wonderful clump-forming naturalizing bulbs. Each bulb can produce 1-3 scapes (flowering stems) each with 20-40 individual flowers.

Flowers of both the species and ‘Superstar‘ have a thin white rim on each flower. Plants grow best full-sun and will tolerate partial shade. Grape hyacinth has an interesting growth habit–producing leaves and flowers in the spring, going dormant during the summer months, and producing leaves over fall and winter. In addition to bringing interesting color and texture to the early spring garden, M. armeniacum also serves as a good source of early-season pollen and nectar for foraging bees.

Botanical Name Muscari armeniacum ‘Superstar’
Common Name grape hyacinth
Family Asparagaceae
USDA Zone 4 thru 8
Light Requirement Full Sun to Part Shade
Season(s) of interest spring, summer
Height and Spread 4-8in x 3-4in (10-20cm x 7-10cm)
Flower Color Blue
Attracts Wildlife Attracts Pollinators, Rarely Browsed by Mammalian Herbivores
Additional Information Not Native to the US Midwest. Though the cultivar ‘Superstar’ is of horticultural origin, the species Muscari armeniacum originates from Southeastern Europe to Caucasus
Location in Lurie Garden Southeast Light Plate, Northeast Light Plate

Average Flowering Time