Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Grape Hyacinths

Natives of the Mediterranean region, grape hyacinths are bulb plants that are represented by a variety of species.  Having colonized most Temperate regions of the globe, they are among the first flowers to appear in the spring and some species yield clumps of greenery throughout the winter months.

Here in Littleton, Colorado, grape hyacinths have spread along the south side of our house and the appearance of their narrow leaves is among the first signs of spring on the farm.  Favoring sandy soil and full sun, these fragrant wildflowers adapt well to the Front Range climate, spreading by bulb division, seed or both (depending on the species).  Blue, urn-shaped flowers cluster along a central stem, resembling bunches of grapes and attracting hordes of bees.

Hardy and invasive, grape hyacinths may not be welcome in pristine flower beds but, for those of us who favor naturalized landscapes, they are a carefree addition to our drought-tolerant vegetation.  Besides, they often begin to flower by mid February, providing brilliant clumps of blue throughout the months of spring snow.