Grape Hyacinth - Muscari – Pärlhyacint
The Swedish name means “pearl hyacinth”.
The Latin name Muscari has to do with the scent said to be resembling musk.
Some species are among the earliest to bloom in the spring. They are planted as bulbs and tend to multiply quickly in well drained sandy soil. May be found in woodlands or meadows, and commonly cultivated in lawns, borders, rock gardens etc.
I’ve sometimes had these on my balcony in the early spring, together with daffodils.
The second photo from my (previous) balcony in 2007.
Yellow and blue are the colours of our Swedish flag.
Blue and yellow have been used as Swedish colours for more than 700 years. According to legend, the Swedish king ‘Eric the Holy’ saw a golden cross in the sky as he landed in Finland during the First Swedish Crusade in the 1150s. Seeing this as a sign from God, King Eric adopted the golden cross against a blue background as his banner. (Historians however debate whether even the crusade ever took place.)
Now this may sound like something every Swedish person would know. As a matter of fact though, I’m not sure I ever heard that legend until I read it just now in the Wikipedia article!