Muscari are perennial bulbous plants that are most commonly known as grape hyacinths – and after years of exploring the most convoluted and tenuous plant name meanings for FOTW, this could possibly be the most straightforward yet. Good for clarity, but makes hitting minimum word counts a little trickier!
And but so they’re known as grape hyacinths: ‘grape’ because their dense, almost-always blue and urn-shaped flowers look like bunches of grapes at first glance; ‘hyacinth’ because… clearly I spoke too soon. As Wikipedia helpfully states: they’re “commonly known as “grape hyacinths but they should not be confused with hyacinths.” No elaboration on that statement, but presumably it’s just pure laziness along the lines of well-they’re-bulbous-and-they-flower-in-similar-ways-so-let’s-just-say-hyacinth-even-though-they’re-not-really.
They do look great though (wasted some time trying to come up with a great/grape pun there – they look grape!). Vibrantly dangling from atop spiked stems like a particularly flashy pair of absolutely fabulous earrings.
The proper name, muscari, comes from the Greek for musk, due to the notable scents they’re capable of emitting. If you’re after a particularly nice, fragrant variety you could do worse than to check out the handily-monikered ‘golden fragrance’ species, which, with its unusually yellow-tipped blooms isn’t so great and grape-y in the looks department but more than makes up for it with a sweet, sweet scent.
While the muscari isn’t specifically known for its symbolic meaning, rich blue tones are commonly associated with power and confidence, while the more purple shades tend to represent mystery, calm and creativity. Definitely something to consider if you’re buying a bouquet for the powerful, confident, mysterious, calm and creative person in your life.