This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Hyacinthus Comosus. Two Coloured, or, Tassel Hyacinth.
Corolla campanulata: pori 3-melliferi germinis.
HYACINTHUS comosus corollis angulato-cylindricis: summis sterilibus longius pedicellatis. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. ed. 14. Murr. 336.
HYACINTHUS comosus major purpureus. Bauh. Pin. 42. The purple faire haired Jacinth; or Purse tassels. Park. Parad. p. 117.
Most of the old Botanists arranged this plant, the racemosus, and others having almost globular flowers with the Hyacinths. Tournefort, struck with the difference of their appearance, made a distinct genus of them under the name of Muscari, in which he is followed by Miller, and should have been by Linnaeus, for they differ so much that no student would consider the present plant as belonging to the same genus with the Hare-bell.
This species grows wild in the corn-fields of Spain, Portugal, and some parts of Germany, and flowers in May and June.
It is distinguished more by its singularity than beauty, the flowers on the summit of the stalk differing widely in colour from the others, and being mostly barren: Parkinson says, "the whole stalke with the flowers upon it, doth somewhat resemble a long Purse tassell, and thereupon divers Gentlewomen have so named it."
It is a hardy bulbous plant, growing readily in most soils and situations, and usually propagated by offsets.