A flower that lives up to the legend

Jackie French
By Jackie French
June 11 2022 - 7:30pm
You can even grow hyacinth bulbs in a vase of water. Picture: Shutterstock

Once upon a time, according to various ancient Greek myths, there was a gorgeous looking bloke called Hyacinthus. That's about all the myths agree on, including exactly what his relationship was - or wasn't - with the Greek god Apollo, and possibly - or possibly not - with Zephyr, the god of the west wind. The one thing the myths do agree on was that Hyacinthus got bonked on the head with a discus, and died. His blood spilled on the ground, and Apollo either turned him into the flower we know as Hyacinth, or else the flowers where his blood was spilled were stained with it for ever, a rich reddish purple.

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Jackie French

Jackie French

Canberra Times columnist

Jackie French is an Australian author, historian, ecologist and honourary wombat (part time), 2014-2015 Australian Children' Laureate and 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. She also writes a gardening column for The Canberra Times.