Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hyacinth and Greek Mythology


These beautiful and fragrant flowers are native to the Eastern Mediterranean from Turkey to Israel and Northeastern Iran.  As pretty as they are, their bulbs are poisonous, containing oxalic acid which can irritate the skin.

The Hyacinth also has history in Greek Mythology.  It was said that Hyacinth was a young boy loved by both Apollo and Zephyrus, the wind god.  Hyacinth was throwing the discus with Apollo when he missed Apollo's throw and was struck by the discus and died.  This was not accidental, though, for Zephyrus, being jealous of Apollo, caused a shift in the wind which forced Apollo's discus off course, thus causing Hyacinth's death.  Apollo did not allow Hades to take Hyacinth, instead making him a flower.*

The hyacinth is sometimes associated with rebirth; maybe this is why.

*information source:  Wikipedia

6 comments:

  1. I love Greek mythology. I hadn't heard that story though.

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  2. I love hyacinth and have white, purple and pink ones in the garden. I get so excited when they bloom, because I planted them near the front entrance and every time you step outside, you get a whole lot of that heady scent.

    Didn't know this story, Linda. Thank you for sharing it. Very cool.

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  3. Cheryl- I hadn't either.

    Talon- They do smell so good. I should plant more.

    Meleah- I didn't know it either. I was just going to post the picture and write a few lines about the flower. Then I read the mythology part and that tied it all up for me.

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  4. That's interesting! I didn't even know the Hyacinth was poisonous. I'm not sure we have them where I live. At least I don't recognize the flower, but if I do see it, I'll definitely be careful now.

    The Greek mythology was also interesting, especially the Hyacinth being associated with rebirth.

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  5. Sara - Fortunately it's just the bulbs that are poisonous. I hope you find some in your area. Their scent is wonderful.

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