Hyacinth Plant Legend: The Quoit Game That Changed the Face of Spring

playing Quoit Hyacinthus and Apollo

All plants have a history or legend and the Hyacinth plant is no different. The legend goes…

Hyacinthus, a handsome mortal, was the favorite of Apollo, the Sun God and Zephyrus, God of the West Wind.

One day as Apollo and Hyacinthus were playing quoits (sort of like horseshoes), they were spied upon by Zephyrus who flew into a jealous rage. Waiting for Apollo’s turn to throw the quoit, Zephyrus blew it off course, striking Hyacinthus in the head.

Hyacinth Immortalized

The blow killed the boy at once. Grief-stricken, Apollo vowed that the beauty of his young friend should be immortalized, and from the blood of the youth he created the rich, fragrant flower known as the hyacinth.

Since then, the hyacinth has transformed the face of many Springs with its clear, rainbow colors and haunting, heady fragrance.

References to the hyacinth are found in some of man’s earliest writings but it took till the 16th Century for it to reach Europe. By the 18th Century, it had become the “fashion” flower of France where you needed literally a king’s ransom to buy certain hyacinth bulbs.

Madame de Pompadour (who had a king of her own) insisted upon hyacinths to decorate the grounds and great halls of the Palace of Versailles.

Growing Hyacinth Video

Hyacinth Finds Its True Home

But it was in Holland that the hyacinth found its true home. There, for over four centuries of loving care and devotion by Dutch horticulturists have brought about a startling transformation from a sparsely flowered plant, to today’s rich petalled varieties with the deep, unmistakable fragrance.

Hyacinths can be grown in many colors including the truest and largest number of blues of any Spring flower.

grape hyacinth

Artistically inclined flower lovers find them perfect for decorating. They’ll grow indoors or out; in gardens, window boxes; on rooftops or terraces – wherever the hyacinth fancy strikes you.

Where and How to grow Hyacinth? They will grow almost anywhere – and so easily. Just dig a hole, drop one in and cover it.

You may wait a bit longer for blooms than; Apollo did – but you’ll find it well worth while. And the cost is very affordable.

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