Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Muscari comosum (L.) Mill.

Frost-hardy bulbous perennial with spreading leaves and tassels of violet flowers in spring.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘Most of the old Botanists arranged this plant, the racemosus, and others having almost globular flowers with the Hyacinths.  Tournefort, struck with the difference in their appearance, made a distinct genus of them under the name of Muscari, in which he is followed by Miller, and should have been by Linnaeus, for they differ so much that no student would consider the present plant as belonging to the same genus with the hare-bell. This species grows wild in the corn-fields of Spain, Portugal, and some parts of Germany, and flowers in May and June.  It is distinguished more by its singularity than beauty, the flowers on the summit of the stalk differing widely in colour from the others, and being mostly barren.’  [BM t.133/1790]. 

Paxton’s Dictionary also lists the variety monstrosum.  Introduced to Britain in 1596.  [JD]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.329/1843].


Published Jan 07, 2010 - 03:22 PM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 03:29 PM

Figured are lance-shaped leaf and brown to purple flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.133, 1790.

Muscari comosum (L.) Mill. | BM t.133/1790 | BHL

Family Hyacinthaceae
Region of origin

South-west Europe to Asia

  • Hyacinthus comosus L.
  • Leopoldia comosa Parl. 
Common Name

Tassel grape hyacinth, Fringe hyacinth

Name in the Camden Park Record

Muscari comosum

Confidence level high