Leopoldia comosa (syn. Muscari comosum) is a perennial bulbous plant. Usually called the Tassel Hyacinth, it is one of a number of species and genera also known as Grape Hyacinths. It is found in rocky ground and cultivated areas, such as cornfields and vineyards, in south-east Europe to Turkey and Iran, but has naturalized elsewhere. Other common names include Tufted Grape Hyacinth, Hairy Muscari and Edible Muscari.
Described by Polunin as "a striking plant", it has a tuft of bright blue to violet-blue sterile flowers above brownish-green fertile flowers, which open from dark blue buds. It is this tuft which gives rise to the name "Tassel Hyacinth". The flower stem is 20–60 cm tall; individual flowers are borne on long stalks, purple in the case of the sterile upper flowers. Mature fertile flowers are 5–10 mm long with stalks of this length or more and are bell-shaped, opening at the mouth, where there are paler lobes. The linear leaves are 5–15 mm wide, with a central channel.
L. comosa naturalizes easily and may become invasive. It has spread northwards from its original distribution, for example appearing in the British Isles in the sixteenth century. The edible bulb is eaten in some Mediterranean countries, and under the name lampascioni in Puglia and Basilicata, where it is grown for this purpose.
In Greek it's called βολβοί, Βροβιούς Volví, Vrovioús. In Greece and especially on Crete it is considered a real delicacy and collected in the wild. The cleaned bulbs are boiled several times, pickled and then kept in olive oil.
Lampascioni sott'olio, made from bulbs of Leopoldia comosum, is a gastronomic specialty of the Italian region of Apulia
- WCSP (2011), World Checklist of Selected Plant Families, The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, retrieved 2011-11-14, search for "Leopoldia comosa"
- Polunin, Oleg (1969), Flowers of Europe : a field guide, London: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-217621-9, p. 502 (under the name M. comosum)
- Mathew, Brian (1987), The Smaller Bulbs, London: B.T. Batsford, ISBN 978-0-7134-4922-8, p. 130 (under the name M. comosum)
- Wild Flowers of the British Isles: M comosum
- Paghat's Garden: M comosum
- Paghat's garden: M comosum 'Plumosum'
|This Asparagales article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|