Flowers with 6 tepals (3 petals and 3 petal-like sepals), white to bluish white or lavender, fragrant, as many as 50 on a long flower stalk to 2 feet tall. Blooms April-May. Leaves basal, narrow, less than ½ inch wide, tapering to a point, flattened, with a raised midrib on the undersurface, or sometimes folded lengthwise in the lower half; there may also be up to 2 narrow, bractlike leaves on the stem below the lowest flowers. Rootstocks bulbs. Lacks the odor of onion or garlic.
Similar species: C. angusta, also called wild hyacinth, has up to 100 flowers on the flowering stalk (though not all flowers may open at once, with some represented only as stalks with the spent flowers gone), and with 3-24 narrow, bractlike leaves below the lowest flowers. It blooms early May to late June and has more deeply colored flowers than our other wild hyacinth. It occurs in a diagonal, southwest-to-northeast band across the state.