The hyacinth is a very fragrant bulbous spring flower that has waxy, dense 6- to 12-inch spikes of star-shaped flowers.
The hyacinth is a very fragrant bulbous flower that originated in Antolia and was brought to Europe in the 16th century. The wild hyacinth is native to the Eastern Mediterranean. The hyacinth was so popular in the 18th century in the Netherlands that over 2,000 cultivars were cultivated. Some of the most popular varieties include the white Carnegie, the yellow City of Haarlem, Pink Pearl, Delft Blue, and deep pink Amsterdam.
Hyacinths have waxy, dense 6- to 12-inch spikes (15-30 cm) of star-shaped flowers; generally one spike per bulb. Plant the bulbs 6-8 inches deep in well-drained soil in a sunny location in the early fall approximately 6-8 weeks before a hard frost. Water thoroughly after planting. Normal bloom time is from March to April with March 7th known as World Hyacinth Day. Please note that Hyacinth bulbs are poisonous and contain oxalic acid. Handling the bulbs can cause a mild irritation in persons with sensitive skin, so it is safer to handle them with gloves.
After blooming, allow the plants to grow until the leaves die off to allow the bulb to store energy for the next year. After the plant has finished flowering in the spring, snip them off at the base, or twist the leaves while pulling lightly.
The ancient Greek legend describes how the sun god Apollo and the God of the west wind, Zephyr, loved Hyacinthus, a handsome young Greek. Apollo was teaching Hyacinthus how to throw the discus and Zephyr, in a fit of jealousy, blew the discus off course. Hyacinthus ran to catch it to impress Apollo, but he was struck by the discus and died. Apollo didn’t allow Hades to claim the boy, but rather Apollo made a flower from Hyacinth’s spilled blood.
Common Name: Hyacinth (hy-uh-sinth)
Genus: Hyacinthus (hy-uh-SIN-thus)
Species: Orientalis (or-ee-en-TAY-liss)
Height: 6-12 inches (15-30 cm)
Spacing: 6-9 inches (15-22 cm)
Hardiness: USDA Zones 3a to 7b
Sun Exposure: Full sun
Bloom Color: white, yellow, salmon, pink, blue, purple, and red
Bloom Time: Spring
Soil pH Requirements: 6.1 (mildly acidic) to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Propagation Method: By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs
Seed Collecting: Plant does not seed