If Hyacinthoides non-scripta is a plant new to you, imagine a cluster of 6 to 12 deep blue flowers on an arching 10-12in stem. They thrive in sun or shade and well-drained, woodsy soil, to which they will respond with clouds of fragrant flowers in May and June and a steady increase in numbers. If your dreams include a Bluebell wood, dream no more. 25 bulbs cover 3sq ft.
Formerly included with Scilla, Hyacinthoides is a small genus of spring-blooming bulbs from Europe and Asia. Its members are some of the most versatile and valuable because of their extraordinary willingness to prosper and bloom in sun to shade (some shade is required for satisfactory performances in the South). They thrive in a wide range of climates and well-drained soils, although a site with ample moisture early in the growing season is the key to abundant flowers. They will spread discreetly but steadily, making a cheerful community, then disappear by midsummer. Because Hyacinthoides are later bloomers, they are useful in the transition from early-spring bulbs to the first June perennials.