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A popular spring flower with a distinctive fragrance, hyacinths are instantly recognisable by their waxy, bell-shaped florets which are densely packed onto thick fleshy stems.

The hyacinth is referenced in Ancient Greek mythology. According to the legend, a young Hyacinth was killed when Apollo and Zephyrus were fighting over his affections. It is said hyacinths sprung up from his spilled blood.

In terms of their origins, it is believed the hyacinth was first grown in Constantinople in the sixteenth century. They were later introduced to Europe where hyacinth-lovers bred many new varieties and developed different colours of the fragrant flower. Today, these flowers are mainly grown in Holland.

Scientific name: Hyacinthaceae

Common name: Hyacinth
Family: Asparagaceae

Availability: November-May
Vase life: Approx. 7-10 days

Colour range: Pure white, cream, salmon, china blue, deep blue, light blue, cerise pink, lilac

Care tips

  • Rinse and re-cut the stems, leaving as much of the bulb on as possible.
  • Stand in clean, fresh, shallow water which should be replaced every other day.
  • Use flower food and mist occasionally to prolong vase life.
  • Hyacinth flowers can become top heavy; a stick carefully inserted into the stem can give support.

Please note: Hyacinth bulbs can irritate the skin so it is advisable to wear gloves when handling them.

For the Home

Hyacinths look beautiful when arranged in a simple vase or jug. If you would like to introduce other flowers, team them with another seasonal favourite like anemones or tulips. Hyacinths are also a good flower for low arrangements since the stems are not very long.

For Brides

The delicate shades and scents of hyacinths make them a popular flower for spring weddings. The flowers lend themselves better to vase arrangements and bridal bouquets as their fleshy stems can make them difficult to anchor into floral foam.

"Hyacinths make a wonderful choice for the spring bride and work particularly well in wedding bouquets when combined with other seasonal flowers such as stocks and hydrangeas. Their intense, sweet fragrance will add another dimension to your bridal bouquet and leave a lovely scent as you walk down the aisle."

Karen Barnes, Wedding Flowers Expert.

The Meaning of Hyacinth

Different coloured hyacinths carry different meanings. Pink hyacinths mean 'playful joy' while the purple flowers symbolise 'deep regret' and white represents love and prayer.

Did you know?

  • Each colour flower has a unique fragrance and hyacinths are commonly used in perfume making.
  • The Hyacinth is a member of the same family as the asparagus.
  • Hyacinths originated from Turkey and the Middle East, along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean.

Source: Cut Flowers - A practical guide to their selection and care by Interflora florist Su Whale

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