This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol1", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Low bulbous scapose herbs, with basal linear fleshy leaves, and nodding bracted racemose flowers, deep blue (rarely white) in the following species. Bulbs membranous-coated. Perianth globose, urn-shaped, or oblong, with 6 teeth or short lobes, tardily deciduous. Stamens 6, inserted on the perianth-tube, included; anthers ovate, versatile, introrse. Ovary 3-celled, sessile; ovules 2 in each cavity; style short; stigmas 3-lobed. Capsule 3-sided or 3-winged, usually 6-seeded, loculicidal. Seeds black, angled. [From the musk-like odor of the flowers of some species.]
About 40 species, natives of Europe, Asia and Africa. Type species: Hyacinthus botryoides L.
Perianth globose, 1"-1 1/2" in diameter; leaves erect.
Perianth oblong, urn-shaped, 2"-3" long; leaves recurved.
Hyacinthus botryoides L. Sp. PI. 318. 1753. Muscari botryoides Mill. Gard. Diet. Ed. 8, no. 1. 1768.
Bulb 1' high or less. Scape 4'-10' high; leaves about as long as the scape, erect or nearly so, 1"~4" wide, channeled, blunt or acutish; raceme oblong-cylindric, 1'-1 1/2 long, dense, or becoming longer and looser in fruit; pedicels shorter than the faintly odorous flowers; bracts very short; perianth globose, 1"-1 1/2" in diameter, 6-toothed, the teeth white, recurved; valves of the capsule obovate.
In meadows and thickets and along roadsides, escaped from gardens, New Hampshire to Ohio and Virginia. Naturalized or adventive from southern Europe. Native also of Asia. Grape-flower. Baby's-breath. Blue-bells. Blue-bottle. April-June.
Hyacinthus racemosus L. Sp. PI. 318. 1753-
Muscari racemosum Mill. Gard. Diet. Ed. 8, no. 2. 1768.
Similar to the preceding species. Leaves 1"-2" wide, recurved or spreading, channeled above; raceme oblong or ovoid, many-flowered, dense, 1'-2 1/2' long; pedicels shorter than the starchy-scented flowers or sometimes equalling them, slender, much longer than the bracts; perianth oblong, urn-shaped, constricted at the throat, 2"-3" long, with 6 deltoid recurved white teeth; capsule-valves suborbicular, retuse.
Escaped from gardens, Connecticut and southern New York to Pennsylvania and Virginia. Native of southern Europe. Grape-flower. Pearls-of-Spain. Starch-hyacinth. April-May.