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Leopoldia comosa (Muscari comosum) - Tassle hyacinth

Muscari comosum

Taxonomy

Phylum: Anthophyta

Class: Equisetopsida

Order: Asparagales

Family: Asparagaceae

Tassle Hyacinth, a member of the familiy Liliaceae, is an interesting plant with two kinds of flowers - those at the top of the stem, which form the 'tassle,' 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. The plant is common throughout the Mediterranean region, where it flowers from March until June. Tassle 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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