Muscari 'Saffier'

Jim McKenney
Tue, 22 Nov 2005 06:40:17 PST
John Grimshaw mentioned Muscari comosum 'plumosum'.

I grow this too and it's a favorite. Evidently it's a plant of ancient
origin, as similar plants (presumably the same plant) are illustrated in the
late sixteenth-early seventeenth century herbals. 

It's got the most unusual color: a sort of pearly gray-rose which reminds me
of the color seen in mourning doves. It's an amazing little plant, yet
rarely seen in the gardens I visit. 

I've heard various stories about the origin of this plant, including one
which claims that it is of north African origin. Its hardiness seems to
suggest otherwise. And then there is the question posed by the distinction
made in some older books between 'plumosum' and 'monstrosum'; evidently they
were not the same, although several hundred years of clonal propagation of
one original stock is enough time to induce plenty of variation. 

Does anyone know any other stories to account for the origin of this
intriguing old antique?

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where I'll bet that a cross
between Muscari comosum 'plumosum' and Muscari (Bellevalia) longipes would
be totally cool!

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