Leopoldia comosa (Muscari comosum) - Tassel Grape Hyacinth

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Asparagales - Family: Asparagaceae

Muscari comosum

Tassel Grape Hyacinth, also known as the Tassle (note the alternative spelling) Grape Hyacinth or sometimes just Tassle Hyacinth, is an interesting plant with two kinds of flowers - those at the top of the stem, which form the 'tassel,' are sterile and are simply present to attract pollinating insects, whilst the brownish-purple flowers lower down the stem are fertile and produce three-lobed fruit capsules after pollination has taken place.

Tassel Grape Hyacinth, Leopoldia comosa

Distribution and Blooming Times

This plant is common throughout the Mediterranean region, where it flowers from March until June. Tassel Grape Hyacinth can be found in disturbed ground in fields, on roadsides and in other grassy or stony places.

This specimen was photographed in the Algarve in Portugal in April.

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