Spring flower 7: Grape hyacinth

Family Asparagaceae
Subfamily Scilloideae
Genus Muscari
Common name grape hyacinth, bluebells

Grape hyacinths are perennial plants with small bulbs, with about 50 species. Native to the Mediterranean. The flowers of most varieties are densely clustered at the top of the leafless calyx (racemes), and each inflorescence contains more than 12-40 flowers, like a bunch of grapes.

Available in blue, white or pink. Some are musky in smell, so the Latin is Muscari. It blooms in spring and is often cultivated as a garden ornamental.

1. Photo taken on April 15, 2007 Nikon D80, 60mm macro. The bees foraged on this flower but not as crazy as crocus.  so I waited for a long time on this flower.

2. I suspect that the bee was foraging for pollen.

3. The pollen is a white translucent color.

4. A lot of time was spent hovering in the air.

5. The flowers faced downward (like blueberry flowers), so most of the time bees have to work upside down.

Author: Zachary Huang

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