Muscari botryoides is a perennial monocotyledon herb from bulbs; spring ephemeral; somewhat colonial from bulb offsets; flowering stems leafless.
Leaves all basal, to 25 cm long, 0.3-0.8 cm wide, linear, grooved, U-shaped in cross section (Yatskievych 2006). Leaves often emerging in late summer or autumn, overwintering, disappearing in late spring after flowering.
Flowers blue, fragrant, radially symmetrical, sepals and petals alike, fused together in a round-urn-shaped perianth with six white, terminal lobes 0.1 cm long, 0.4-0.5 cm wide; stamens 6, fused to and shorter than perianth tube, ovary superior, 3-parted, stigma 3-parted, on a single style, shorter than perianth; inflorescence a dense raceme of nodding flowers on stalks 0.5 cm long, 2-4 cm long at top of leafless stem 10-20 cm long, often cone-shaped, appearing like a small cluster of grapes, small sterile flowers at top of inflorescence (Yatskievych 2006); blooms April-May.
Fruit becoming dry, a sharply 3-angled, 3-parted capsule 0.5 cm long and wide, splitting open at top to release 2 small, black seeds from each compartment; infructescence elongating to 40 cm.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Infrequent, although apparently widespread.
Habitat: Escaped from cultivation. Sometimes planted in natural areas.