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 muscarimi Medik.

Half-hardy bulbous perennial with grey-green leaves to 20cm, an erect to prostrate flowering stem, to 20cm, and musk-scented, pitcher-shaped, greyish-white flowers with a bluish tinge, becoming paler or brownish with age, in spring.  To 20cm.  [RHSD, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The flowers are larger than those of the other species, of little beauty, but amply recompensing the want of it by their extreme fragrance; from which circumstance the Turks have given it the appellation of Muscari, the scent resembling that of certain pastilles they use to perfume their chambers, which are known by the same name: it was brought from the gardens in the vicinity of Constantinople, according to Clusius, about 1554.  Dr. Patrick Russell found it growing wild near Aleppo, till when its precise habitat was not satisfactorily ascertained.  The Italians call it Muschio greco.  There is a yellow sort, called Tibcadi Muscari by the Dutch Florists, supposed to be a mere variety, the fragrance of which is still more exquisite, and we are told that fine roots of it sell for a guinea a piece in Holland.  We never saw it.  Our variety was cultivated by Gerarde in 1597.  It is a hardy plant, thrives in a southern aspect, propagating abundantly both by seed and offsets. [BM t.734/1804].  ‘Tibcadi Muscari [was] copiously described by Parkinson, and seems to have been well known in the English gardens of his day, we have never seen, nor ever heard of its being in any one of the present.  This variety exceeds [the type] as much in fragrance as in appearance.’  [BM t.1565/1813].

History at Camden Park

Only listed in the 1843 catalogue under the names of Muscari moschata and Hyacinthus muscari.


Published Jan 07, 2010 - 05:00 PM | Last updated Jan 07, 2010 - 05:32 PM

Shown are strap-like leaves and pitcher-shaped, white flowers with a bluish tinge.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.734, 1804.

Muscari muscarimi Medik. | BM t.734/1804 | BHL

Family Hyacinthaceae
Region of origin

Middle East

  • Muscari moschatum Willd.
  • Hyacinthus muscari L.
Common Name

Musk hyacinth

Name in the Camden Park Record

Muscari moschata

Hyacinthus muscari

Confidence level high