Hyacinth in Focus

“If you have two loaves of bread, sell one and buy a white hyacinth”

Elbert Hubbard

The beauty of my world is that each season brings with it a neverending parade of different flowers and foliage. No sooner am I mourning summer’s fading blooms than autumn’s showy foliage and fragrant bulbs arrives to distract me.

Hyacinths are one of the flowers that make the colder months something to look forward to. Ranging in colour from white and pale yellow to pinks, blues and purples, legend says that it appeared after Zephyrus (the god of the west wind) accidentally killed Hyacinth, a handsome Greek youth. Apollo the sun god had won Hyacinth’s attention, causing the jealous Zephyrus to throw a quoit in a fit of rage. The quoit struck Hyacinth, and a hyacinth bulb grew where his blood touched the ground.

Five Facts

  • In floriography, white hyacinths represent unobtrusive loveliness, beauty & constancy, making them a popular mother’s day choice and an ideal gift to brighten a chilly day for the special lady in your life.
  • Hyacinths will last longer as a cut flower if placed in cold water and the white flesh at the bottom of the stem is left on, if anything only the finest slice should be cut from the base.
  • Hyacinths are one of the few flowers that keep growing once cut so use a vase that will support them as they stretch.
  • The stems release a clear, slimy sap that may be poisonous to other flowers. Change the water and clean the vase every second day for best results.
  • Locally available from April to October.