The hyacinth is a true winter bloom but are available in the commercial flower industry from autumn onwards so we’ve already begun to celebrate this favourite of the cooler months! Hyacinths are a short-stemmed spike flower where small flowers bloom along a chunky stem. They are available in pastel shades of pink, lilac and lemon and also vibrant blue, deep purple and crisp white. This beauty is known for its fragrance which gets more intense as the flower blooms.
History of hyacinth
The hyacinth flower was named after a handsome young Greek man named Hyakinthos who was loved by the god Apollo. The god of the West Wind was also in love with Hyakinthos and jealous of Apollo’s feelings for the young man. One day whilst Hyakinthos was throwing the discus, the god of the West Wind blew the discus back into him causing a fatal wound. Hyakinthos died in Apollo’s arms and from his blood grew a flower which Apollo named after him.
Being the flower of the sun god Apollo, hyacinths symbolise peace, commitment, and beauty, but also power and pride.
Hyacinths were first brought into Western Europe in the 16th century and were only found in the collections of very wealthy flower collectors. The hyacinth’s intense perfume meant the bulbs were extremely expensive.
How to care for hyacinth
Choose hyacinths which are bunched with their bulbs intact, or bulbs trimmed to look square. The upper flowers should be in bud and the lower flowers starting to bloom. Avoid bunches with leggy stems as they won’t be able to hold themselves up in a vase and will break easily. When you get them home, leave the bulbs on the end of the stems and plunge into a small amount of cool water. Change the water every two days and keep in a cool place away from heat.
How to style hyacinth
Hyacinths are a short-stemmed flower and look sweet in mixed posies. They are also beautiful styled on their own when the flowers blooming up their stem can be truly appreciated. Pretty stems of hyacinth work beautifully in a bathroom or powder room due to their lovely scent. But beware, the fragrance may be too powerful for a bedroom.