Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Grape hyacinths are lovely spring flowers that are perfect for cutting. Though the stems are slightly short, they are nevertheless perfect for spring floral displays.
A number of different kinds are available with most growing to about eight to ten inches in height. These are used as a small accent or mass flower. They can be used to create a perfect spring bouquet for displaying in small vases. Their vase life is usually about a week or so.
The tiny blooms open in dense clusters with 20 or more per stem. Typically, they open in April and May. Depending on the species, these do well in zones three through nine. They are adapted to full sun and partial shade. These bulbs are resistant to deer browsing.
Golden Fragrance grape hyacinth is a wonderful variety that was introduced to the U.S. several years ago. This has typical spikes of grape-hyacinth-like flowers. But, these are in an unusual color combination. The blooms at the very top of the spike are dark purple, while the others are rich butter yellow. Very fragrant, these spikes open in early to mid-spring. The spikes are about six inches in length.
Dark Eyes grape hyacinth has delightful bicolor blooms that are crowded together like grapes on a stem. The bell-shaped blooms are royal blue with intriguing white, lace-like tips.
Mt. Hood grape hyacinth is named for the white blossoms at the very tip of the flower stalk, which can reach seven inches in height. On the rest of the stem, the blossoms are cobalt blue. This is hardy in zones four through nine.
Asian grape hyacinth has flower spikes that are essentially tricolored, depending at which stage you cut the stems. The very tip will have gorgeous blue grape-like florets. Towards the center of the stalk these tend to be purplish-green. At the very bottom, the flower clusters are deep purple and fully open. This is hardy to zone four.
The blue grape hyacinth is another species that makes a perfect cut flower. The stems reach ten inches in height. The medium blue blossoms cover the stem. This is hardy to zones four through nine. Though the name might state otherwise, there are varieties available that have white flowers.
The Blue Spike grape hyacinth is a lovely double flowering variety. The cobalt blue blossoms open in large clusters. This is hardy in zones four through eight.
The Armenian grape hyacinth looks much like the common grape hyacinth. However, the Armenian isnít quite as hardy. While the common one can be grown in zone two or so, the Armenian is recommended north to zone four. This is one of the most popular species of grape hyacinths.