Why I Love the Hyacinth Flower

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1 year ago

Two topics that a person can always seem to write about are food diversity and floral diversity. I decided to explore floral diversity and so far I have written 4 articles (links below). I am rather enjoying the exploration.

The first flower that comes to mind that begins with the letter “h” is the Hibiscus flower. But I have written more than enough articles at my various blogs about this lovely bloom from my childhood. So I won't write another article. Instead I am going to discuss the Hyacinth.

~ The fact that this is one of my favorite flowers has nothing to do with it being a flower. I love British comedy TV shows. There is one show called “Keeping Up Appearances” and the name of the main character is Hyacinth. The lady who plays the part is Patricia Routledge or should I say Dame Katherine Patricia Routledge, DBE. Evidently she is a well-known comedic entertainer in the UK. I only know her from this television series and she is flipping hilarious! Because of her, the flower named hyacinth was added to my list of favorite flowers.

According to the Britannica Encyclopedia, this flower is native primarily to the Mediterranean region and tropical Africa. According to an article published via Old House Gardens, the hyacinth dates back to ancient antiquity and has made its way through gardens in ancient Greece and Rome, and into the Ottoman Empire and eventually into Western Europe. Here is an interesting fact gleaned from that article:

“There is convincing evidence that the hyacinth was cultivated by the Turks for both its fragrance and for ceremonial usage. On the death of Sultan Moerad III in 1595 his mourning son had no fewer than half a million hyacinths planted.”

I was required to learn the history of Western Europe in Catholic high school. But not much was ever taught about the Ottomans other than the fact they existed.

One must be careful because the hyacinth bulbs are poisonous. They contain oxalic acid and so you should handle them wearing protective gloves. The uncooked seeds are poisonous, however, the beans of these plants can be used in cooking. They can be boiled or roasted and you can find many Indian food recipes that use hyacinth beans. (Recipes.) As you can see by the featured image they are a marvelous ornamental flower. But they also have proven medicinal value. In addition to being used for beauty ~ skincare and hair care ~ it has been used to treat cholera, snake bites, and even STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). In traditional Chinese medicine, the beans are used to keep the spleen healthy.

There is a sad story in Greek mythology about a young man named Hyakinthos or Hyacinthus. That's how the flower got its name. As for its symbolism, it has come to “represent prayers, thoughtfulness, messages of hope and well-being”.

Interesting flower huh?


Doerflinger, Frederick. “The Hyacinth Story.” Hyacinth History, Old House Gardens, 1989, oldhousegardens.com/HyacinthHistory. "from Adsurgens, the journal of Wycliffe Hall Botanical Gardens, 1989"

Gayatri. “11 Amazing Benefits Of Hyacinth Herb For Skin, Hair And Health.” STYLECRAZE, IncNut Digital, 6 June 2019, stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-hyacinth-herb-for-skin-hair-and-health/.

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