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Hyacinthus orientalis

Hyacinth grows from a bulb and has 4-6 linear leaves and 1-3 racemes or flowers. The most common colors are purple, white and pink. It grows to about 6-8 inches tall. Dutch hyacinth is frequently seen blooming in gardens during the first couple weeks of March.

There are other hyacinths that offer early spring color that should be used more frequently. The grape hyacinth or Muscari is a genus of perennial bulbous plants native to Eurasia that produce spikes of dense, most commonly blue, urn-shaped flowers resembling bunches of grapes in the spring.

Wild hyacinth Camassia scilloides is native to Texas and other regions of North America. Grass-like leaves in a tight, basal clump surround a 1-2 ft. blossom stalk topped by lavender flowers in 5-7 in. spikes. A leafless stem with lavender to blue flowers in an elongated, loose-flowered cluster rising from an underground bulb. The sweet-scented flowers have six, petal-like segments and protruding, yellow stamens. The bulbs of this plant were used by Native Americans and early explorers for food.The colors are white blue and purple.

Bulbs for any of these hyacinths should be planted in the fall.

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