From the small genus of bulbous herbs belonging to the family Asparagaceae (formerly Hyacinthaceae). The parent of the present-day garden or “Dutch” hyacinth was prevalent in ancient times as a wildflower in a number of areas of the eastern Mediterranean, through Asia Minor and Syria into Iran and Iraq. Hyacinth are mentioned by Clusius - curator of the Leiden botanical gardens in Holland - during the mid-1500s. The first recorded mention of Hyacinth in the UK dates to 1596 when English herbalist, John Gerard, recorded growing them in his garden.
Hyacinths are one of the most highly perfumed bulbs you can grow. They come in a rainbow of striking bright colours and muted pastels which enhance any spring planting scheme and add something special to pot displays. Take care when handling hyacinth as their oxalic content can make them an irritant if you have sensitive skin – if in doubt wear gloves when planting and wash your hands after handling stems.
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