Mouse hyacinth is a small plant from the genus of the bulbous family of asparagus. Recently, it has become increasingly popular among amateur gardeners and among professional landscape designers.
This plant has several names: in Russia it is called viper, and in Europe - grape hyacinth. In the southern regions of Russia, he is called violins for the creaking sound made by flowers at the moment when they are touched with fingers. The plant received its new name - "Muscari" as a transcription from the Latin scientific name. The nerd who gave the name to the species found in the smell of flowers a resemblance to the smell of musk. The name turned out to be beautiful and sonorous, so it gradually replaces the popular names.
In the wild, mouse hyacinth grows mainly under the canopy of broad-leaved forests or in the forest-steppe zone.
Based on seasonal activity, it is classified as ephemeroid, that is, those plants that actively vegetate and bloom in a short period of time. This is 2-3 spring months, when the top layer of the earth has already thawed, and below, where the roots of the trees are located, the earth is still frozen. At this time, the leaves of the upper canopy have not yet blossomed, and the ground is covered with abundantly flowering forbs.
All ephemeroids live their brief century of activity due to the supply of nutrients in the bulbs. This juicy underground shoot allows an adder to release green leaves very quickly, bloom and create a new supply of nutrients.
The height of this plant is small - 30-40 cm. The ground part of the plant is made up of leaves and a flower. The leaves reach a length of 10-15 cm, are located near the ground and collected in a socket (see photo). Onion-shaped bulb, about 2 cm in size.
From the root outlet comes one flower-bearing leafless arrow. Relatively small flowers are collected in an inflorescence brush on it. Muscari forms different color variations. Most often, blue and purple flowers are found, but you can find blue and even white (see photo).
Florists are attracted to this plant not only by the abundant flowering and bright appearance of inflorescences, but also by the original structure of the flowers. The petals of each flower grew together and formed the shape of a jug with a narrow neck. Each flower hangs a hole down, protecting its pollen from water. Such a structure makes it possible to increase the efficiency of pollination, which is important in the conditions of cool spring weather, when not all pollinating insects have switched to an active lifestyle.
The range of all species of this genus encompasses Southern and Central Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. However, the highest concentration of mouse hyacinth is observed in the Mediterranean.
Mouse Hyacinth: Growing and Care (video)
The place of mouse hyacinth in landscape design
Since this plant blooms only in spring, it is used mainly for decoration of spring flower beds, alpine hills, roccaries, flower beds of continuous flowering.
Abundant and simultaneous flowering of muscari allows it to be used for color compositions. Carpets made of blue flowers look good as a frame of lawns and lawns.
This plant goes well with the following colors:
After flowering, mouse hyacinth loses its aesthetic appeal. For this reason, it is better to combine it with those plants that bloom later and do not belong to species with a high and spreading crown. After the muscari fades, the following plants can take on its aesthetic function:
- field carnations;
However, it is best to use the natural feature of mouse hyacinth and plant it under the trees. Until the leaves on the trees bloom, Muscari will delight everyone with abundant flowering. When a shadow from the blossoming leaves appears, he will retire until his next season. This is its function in nature and landscape design.
Reproduction and distribution
Mouse hyacinth reproduces in a vegetative and generative way. Using the vegetative method, it can be planted with bulbs that form on the mother’s bulb after the active growing season. This method allows mouse hyacinth to capture whole glades. It is also the most convenient for the formation of beds with this plant.
The seed distribution method allows this plant to move to other territories and occupy areas previously free from its presence.
In culture, this method is rarely used. Firstly, because it is troublesome, and secondly, with generative propagation, flowering occurs only after 3-4 years.
When to plant
The timing of planting this plant depends on the goals. If you re-form the garden, then it is better to do it in the spring - at the end of March or at the very beginning of April, depending on climatic and weather conditions.
There are no special time limits for seeds. It is enough that the soil thawed by 10 cm. Planting bulbs that have already woken up after hibernation is necessary only if the positive temperature is established. Despite the fact that murine hyacinth successfully hibernates in a temperate climate zone, frost on the soil can harm a plant that is injured by transplantation.
In the fall, sowing seeds and planting bulbs, budding from maternal plants after the growing season. This should be done in September 20 days before the start of frost.
The daughter bulbs are easily detachable and are easily transplanted to another area. Small specimens should be allowed to grow on a special bed, where they are planted tightly to each other - at a distance of 1-2 cm.
You need to resort to seed cultivation if you want to significantly update the genotype of your plants, improve their condition, increase flowering activity. Seed regeneration forms a variety of phenotypes and helps to carry out selection work.
For propagation by seeds, you can use your own plants. On the best of them, the seeds are allowed to ripen. You need to collect them before they fall into the ground. In this case, sowing is carried out in the fall, immediately after harvesting the ripened seeds.
Since mouse hyacinth as a species formed in broad-leaved forests of a temperate climate, its adaptation to the environment is limited by the following limiting factors:
- Temperature condition. This species can be considered relatively frost-resistant. Its early flowering can occur even at low temperatures. However, it may not withstand sudden changes in temperature during strong winds. It is better to place the beds with hyacinth where there is protection from the wind and the scorching sun, and the earth around the bushes should be mulched with leaves, moss or sawdust (see photo). For winter, beds with this plant should also be covered with grass or leaves.
- Lighting. As mentioned above, muscari is demanding on lighting only during the period of active flowering. From June to winter, it can grow in the shade.
- The soil. Mouse hyacinth needs fertile, loose soil with lots of organic matter. This must be taken into account when preparing the beds for sowing this plant. Manure, dry leaves and grass should be added to the soil. In such soil, muscari can bloom profusely for at least 5 years.
How to plant hyacinth (video)
Demanding on the soil and dictates the need for periodic transplantation of this plant to new beds.