A spring favourite, the traditionally deep purple hyacinth has a strong place in modern day spring gardens, as well as in history. Here are a few facts about the wonderful hyacinth.
- The hyacinth (Hyacinthus) is a plant from the asparagus (asparagaceae) family.
- Still the most popular form of the hyacinth today, the “Dutch” variety, was a prevalent wildflower in ancient cities. It was found along the Eastern Mediterranean, through Asia Minor, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Nowadays, the hyacinth is mainly grown in Holland.
3. The origin of the Hyacinth flower can be traced back to Greek mythology. Legend has it that Apollo, the sun god, and Zephyr, the god of the west wind, both competed for the attention of a young man named Hyakinthos. One day, Apollo was teaching Hyakinthos how to throw the discus. In a jealous fit, Zephyr blew a gust of wind in Apollo’s direction. The wind was so strong it caused the discus to strike Hyakinthos in the head and kill him. A flower grew from the blood of Hyakinthos and Apollo named the blue flower “Hyacinth” to symbolise constancy and sincerity.
4. Today, these low maintenance plants are a spring garden staple. Bulbs can be planted in autumn, and will bloom fragrant and bright colours from March to April.
5. You will commonly see this easy to grow plant alongside tulips and daffodils in early spring gardens.
6. From a distance, they look almost like a lollipop or stick of carnival cotton candy. Up close, you may notice the clusters of tiny flowers are shaped like tiny stars.
7. Colours can range from the classic deep indigo, to bright magentas, lighter pinks and purples and white.
8. Hyacinths grow best in sunny or partially shady spots.
9. Bulbs should be planted 6-8 weeks before a hard frost is expected. Once the bulbs are planted 10 cm into the ground, they will remain frost hardy until the plant blooms in the spring.
10. The hyacinth is technically a perennial, but many gardeners find that flower size diminishes substantially each season and so treat them as an annual. At its peak, hyacinths can be expected to reach 20-30 cm tall.
11. The purple variety symbolises deep regret and sorrow while the white variety means love and prayer.
12. Do be cautious, the hyacinth can be toxic to dogs and cats and can cause stomach upset to humans if ingested. Display in a safe space out of reach of pets and children in your home.
TIP! Display a bouquet of Hyacinth in your living room or bedroom to use as a natural air freshener. The scent of each flower varies based on its colours, so create a unique custom bouquet of coloured flowers to freshen the air with your own trademark fresh spring scent!
A bouquet of hyacinth also makes the perfect gift for Easter, Mother’s Day, Spring Birthdays and just because occasions. For many people, the flower brings back memories of warmer weather, sunshine and most importantly – the end of winter.
Do you love a hyacinth?