Perennial herb with a bulb to 30 cm tall Leaves: basal, two to five, upright, 15 - 35 cm long, 3 - 8 mm wide, linear with an abruptly contracted tip, flat or channeled. Inflorescence: a terminal, dense cluster (raceme) of twelve to twenty flowers on an upright stem. Flowers: nodding, blue to purple, 2 - 4 mm long, 2 - 3 mm wide, spherical to egg-shaped, with six small, white teeth. Stamens six. Anthers dark blue. Fruit: a three-angled capsule, 4 - 6 mm long, 4 - 6 mm wide. Seeds six.
Similar species: The similar Muscari neglectum differs mainly by the shape and width of its leaves, which are nearly cylindrical and no more than 3 mm wide.
Flowering: April to late May
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. An occasional escape from cultivation. It has been found in waste ground, lawns, and woods.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Muscari comes from the Greek word moschus, which means musk. Botryoides means "resembling a cluster of grapes."
Author: The Morton Arboretum
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This species is commonly cultivated and has been reported as an escape in several parts of the state. I have never collected it except in our own orchard where it has escaped.
Lvs flat, narrowly linear-oblanceolate, to 2.5 dm, 3-8(-10) mm wide, scapes 1-2 dm at anthesis, to 4 dm in fr; raceme ovoid-cylindric and 2-4 cm at anthesis, elongating in fr; fls all blue, all fertile except a few at the tip, nodding, exceeding their slender pedicels; perianth globular-urceolate, 4-5 mm; 2n=18, 36. Native of Europe, escaped from cult. into waste places nearly throughout our range. Apr., May.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.