Muskari (Armenian Viper) is a flower from the Asparagus family (formerly lily). They call it snake onions, grape hyacinth. It occurs near shrubs, on the plains, forest edges, mountain slopes. Distribution area: Caucasus, Crimea, Europe, West Asia, the Mediterranean. It is cultivated as a decorative flower, grown on lawns, alpine hills, borders. Relate the plant to ephemerophytes, which have a short growing season.
This is a perennial flower with cylindrical, oblong or barrel-shaped perianth. Blossoms in April - May - 20 days. Flowers with six fused petals collected in a brush, which is located on a high stalk, blue, white, blue, azure, cornflower blue. They have a delicate pleasant aroma. Root, pointed leaves with parallel venation form rosettes up to 17 cm. Oval bulbs with light outer scales, 20 mm in diameter, 15-25 cm long.
Types, varieties of muscari
The most common of 60 species:
Armenian (Colchis) - characterized by two-color fragrant petals on a spherical inflorescence. Above they are dark blue with a white rim, below they are lighter. The leaves are linear, narrowed, blooms in late May for 20 days. It grows in the Caucasus, found in Turkey. Unpretentious winter-hardy grade.
- Terry Blue Spike - a cornflower inflorescence in the form of a bunch has up to 180 flowers. It blooms 2 weeks later than the rest, does not bear fruit. They enjoy its view for three weeks, grown in gardens, make flower arrangements.
- Christmas Pearl - Dark purple flowers with a musky aroma.
- Fantasy Creation - different in changing colors from green to blue.
- Venus is a new variety, translated as Venus, it has white flowers with a purple tint.
- Thunder-shaped - sky-blue, blue-violet, white small flowers. It has two varieties: Album - similar to pearls, Corneum - like a pink cloud. Grows in Central, Southern Europe.
- Broadleaf - the leaves are similar to a tulip wider than the rest. The inflorescences are cylindrical, dark blue. Several peduncles appear from one bulb. It is found in Asia Minor.
- Pale - low light blue flowers, similar to a bell. Grows in the Caucasian meadows. From him came the popular White Rose (pink).
- Crested - characterized by bright violet flowers collected in a tuft, plant height up to 70 cm. The most famous of this species is Pluzum, grows in Europe and North Africa.
- Tubergen (Osh) - sickle-shaped leaves, azure flowers, serrated at the edges up to 18 cm, white buds on top. It is found in Iran.
- Large-fruited - blue, yellow, brown flowers are larger than the other varieties. Homeland - Greece, Western Turkey.
- Neglectum (undetected) - purple petals with a white border at the base and sky blue at the top.
- Belozevny - an inflorescence of ultramarine color (includes forty pieces of flowers), the petals are edged with white cloves. Coming from the Black Sea region, Iran.
Muscari planting in the open ground
It consists in choosing a place, preparing the soil and applying fertilizers. The plant prefers sunlit areas, but grows in the shade, it is not covered for the winter. The flower is not picky about the soil, it needs light or medium, slightly acidic soil, and very attractive flowers grow on it.
Planted in the autumn period (September - October), the plant takes root before flowering. Before planting, inspect each bulb, remove rotted, damaged ones. They are treated with Fitosporin (or a solution of 2% malathion, then manganese). They are placed to a depth of up to 8 cm large, 3 cm small, between 5 to 10 cm are left between them. First, they dig the earth, water it abundantly, pour sand into the holes.
If it was not possible to plant a flower in the fall, do it in the spring. When the snow melts, the purchased bulbs are separated and planted in a similar way. It will bloom next year.
Features of muscari care in the open ground
Viper onions need moist soil, if there is no precipitation, water in the morning. It is not planted in an open area where direct sunlight, in this case, is obscured by higher neighbors. Fertilize with humus in the spring (1 kg requires 5 kg), even when sprouts appear, buds are formed. When grown on a lawn, they do not cut it until the leaves of the flower are dry.
Flowering and transplanting
In early spring, during flowering, they constantly loosen and weed the soil. Its duration is 3-4 weeks. A transplant is needed once in 3-5 years or if the flowers lose their appearance.
When mouse hyacinth fades, peduncles are removed, and liquid mixtures containing potassium and phosphorus are fed under the root. In autumn, almost no watering. In the winter they use peat as mulch.
Preparation for winter, storage of Muscari bulbs
By winter, the bulbs are usually not dug up, they only make humus, the bunches are cut, the leaves are not torn off.
If the bulbs need to be dug up, only after the leaves have dried and stored under certain conditions:
- Buried in peat or sand.
- Regularly inspect and clean rotten ones.
- Store at +17 ° C and humidity 70%.
Muscari is propagated by bulbs (about 30 pieces are formed in children) - they are carefully separated from the mother’s along with the ground, and planted in the usual way. Flowering begins in the second year.
Seeds (this is done by breeders) - they collect seeds in the lower part of shoots, sow in the fall, bulbs are formed in the spring. Flowers will be after 3 years. Some varieties are sterile; they cannot be propagated in this way.
Muscari Diseases and Pests
Muscari sometimes infect viral mosaics:
- Onion - narrowed leaves, growth slows down.
- Cucumber - pale green stripes and spots on the leaves, they are deformed.
If a mosaic is found, the affected hyacinths are dug up and immediately destroyed.
Pests rarely attack a flower:
- Spider mite - chemical products are used: Vermitek, Akorin.
- The carrier of the mosaic is an aphid, with its appearance, flowers are immediately sprayed with a soapy solution.
- Rust - brown spots on the leaves on both sides, sprayed with drugs: Ditan, Bayleton.
Mice can damage the flower, fight them with repellers.
Muscari cultivation at home
Muscari is often grown indoors. Bulbs are prepared:
- Three months store them at +5 ° С degrees.
- Then at +9 ° C for more than 30 days.
- Planted in a container with drainage (soil from sand, peat, compost) for 2 cm.
- Two weeks contain at +5 ° C.
- Then they put in the light, where + 10 ° С.
- Three days later, increase to +15 ° C.
High temperatures shorten the flowering period. Watered with moderately soft water, blooms after 14 days.
Lighting loves bright, high humidity, placed on the eastern, western windowsills.
Muscari in landscape design
The flower is widely used by landscape designers, they form alpine slides, bright flower beds with different colors, borders, flower beds, wattle, placed along the paths, under decorative shrubs, trees. They put flower pots on the terraces and verandas.
Muscari petals have useful properties - they contain esters, flavonoids, organic acids, ascorbic acid.
The plant is used as a wound healing, bactericidal agent and aphrodisiac. Traditional medicine in Asian countries uses essential oil to treat bronchitis, massage, aromatherapy, colds, and insomnia.
The perfume industry also did not disregard this fragrant flower, its notes create the aroma of perfume and are used in cosmetology.
At home they put bouquets of mouse hyacinths not only for beauty: the plant repels flies, mosquitoes, midges. It is impossible to use inside, the plant is poisonous.