• Last modified 550 days ago (March 18, 2020)


Springing a surprise

What’re these bulbous plants that keep cropping up?

Staff writer

A run of wild, bulbous plants have cropped up around Marion, causing community members to speculate on what they could be.

Extension agent Rickey Roberts said they looked like wild onions, but he could not be certain.

The plants, standing between three and six inches high, look similar to crocuses but without striped leaves, plant enthusiast Margaret Wilson said.

They spring up every year, but seem especially prevalent because of the wet spring, husband Rex Wilson said.

“I’ve noticed a tremendous number of these in basically every yard that doesn’t have grass,” he said.

The bulbs growing throughout Marion County are likely grape hyacinth, Margaret said.

“You’ll see little tufts all over,” she said. “They’re opportunists.”

The plant’s name comes from the way the plant looks when its flowers bloom, Margaret said.

“They look like little upside down grapes and they’re purple,” she said.

Grape hyacinths are native to Europe and Asia, but common in the U.S.

While someone might go to the store to buy some, the plants can quickly spread of their own fruition, Margaret said.

“They’re ubiquitous to Kansas,” she said. “They don’t get any taller than this and they’re just so cute.”

Last modified March 18, 2020