Tuesday, March 26, 2013


(Hyacinthus orientalis)

In the literary myth, Hyacinth was a beautiful youth and lover of the god Apollo, though he was also admired by West Wind Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died.

A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyer responsible for the death of Hyacinth. His beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo didn't allow Hades to claim the youth; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood. According to Ovid's account, the tears of Apollo stained the newly formed flower's petals with the sign of his grief. The flower of the mythological Hyacinth has been identified with a number of plants other than the true hyacinth, such as the iris.  

Hyacinth grows from a bulb with a thick stalk-like stem.  The stem holds multiple floret blooms that emit a powerful perfume.  Hyacinth comes in a range of colors from white to yellow, pinks and purples to blues. 

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