Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Flower Fest - H for Hyacinthus Orientalis

Hyacinthus orientalis, or the beautiful hyacinth, is a very easy to grow flower. The picture below is of purple hyacinths that I grew from bulbs in my little flower bed when we lived in Illinois. I remember planting them in fall and then forgetting about them till elongated leaves popped out of the ground in early spring. The flowers are on a tall spike that bears a large cluster of flowers. I had them right by my front door and the mild fragrance was very welcoming.

Apparently, it is toxic if ingested in large quantities! So while this is not a Colorado wildflower that is an obnoxious weed, it has alkaloids that can be dangerous for pets and for humans, when consumed in large quantities. You stand forewarned! The next time you admire a hyacinth, stop there! Don't eat it!

Greek mythology has it that the flower is named after Hyacinthus who was accidentally killed by Apollo during a friendly game of quoits. Apollo then created a flower from his friend's blood which had spilled on the ground and called it hyacinth in his memory. The original hyacinth was probably not much like what we have today but that's how the flower got its name.

Flower Fest - the A-Z of FlowersThis is my entry for the letter H in the Flower Fest - the A - Z of Flowers.

Flower Fest is the brainchild of Nature & Me and Sree. Every two weeks, the focus will be on a letter of the English alphabet. The current letter is H. I am submitting photographs of flowers as my entries.

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