Wild Guide: Wild Hyacinth

By MDC | May 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: May 2023

Wild hyacinth flowers from April through May with six tepals (three petals and three petal-like sepals) that are white to bluish white or lavender. There are as many as 50 fragrant blooms on a long single stalk that can grow to 2 feet tall. Its basal leaves are narrow and less than ½ inch wide and its rootstock is a bulb. Wild hyacinth occurs in prairies, rocky slopes, glades, bluff ledges, low, rich upland to bottomland forests, roadsides, and old fields.

Did You Know?

A related plant, quamash or small camas, was an important food for several Native American tribes and for members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. If you’re thinking about trying these edible bulbs, make sure you can tell the difference between this plant and its poisonous relatives.

Photo of wild hyacinth flower cluster

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