Blue Hyacinth: Constancy
Purple Hyacinth: Please Forgive Me
White Hyacinth: Beauty
Rashness and Woe
Dedication to Apollo
General Symbolism: Games and Sports
What do anemones and hyacinth have in common? Well according to the ancient Greeks, both flowers first grew up in memoriam of someone killed. While the anemone in Greek mythology is connected to Aphrodite, (see the floriography of the anemone), the Hyacinth is associated with Apollo.
Hyacinthus, a beautiful Laconian youth, was beloved by Apollo, the sun god. One day Hyacinthus played Apollo in a game of quoits, (a game similar to horseshoes but with discus), and Zephyrus, the west-wind, was jealous of their kinship, so he blew the heavy quoit thrown by Apollo off its course, causing it to hit Hyacinthus in the head and kill him. In his grief Apollo changed the blood drops of his friend into the Hyacinth. This legend was commemorated annually by ancient Greeks in the Hyacinthia festival. Sparta in particular loved celebrating this one, no surprise.
(Source: Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees by Ernst and Johanna Lehner)
Hyacinthe changé en fleur du même nom by Nicolas-René Jollain
These days you can grow your own hyacinth bulbs pretty much anywhere with a general Spring-like climate: mid-temperatured sunshine, but hyacinth bulbs are native to the Eastern Mediterranean. It was from Turkey that the first hyacinth bulbs were brought to England in 1573. (I have to marvel that we even know the exact year on that.)
...Being a geography buff, I love learning details like that.
I also love the Victorian symbolism associated with a purple hyacinth, as listed earlier. How lovely is that?! "Please forgive me." That's the kind of message you don't always want to deliver in person. If only I could send a purple hyacinth to anybody as needed and they knew what it meant.
Photo Credit: Sunset.com
Hyacinth is very sweet smelling and blooms right around the time we're all itching for some spring sunshine. For this reason it's always been, to me, a beautiful trumpet call of the bountiful blooms that are popping up, or soon to be blooming. When I see a hyacinth with its colorful fist of complex blooms I know a warmer, sweeter season has arrived.
Photo via Flirty Fleurs