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Common Hyacinth Hyacinthus orientalis

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hy-ah-SIN-thus or-ee-en-TAH-liss
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Hyacinthus orientalis, or Hyacinth, is a hardy, perennial, bulbous herb with basal, narrowly strap-shaped leaves and fragrant spring flowers that rise on an erect stalk. It grows easily in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. It does tolerate summer drought and some light shade. Soils should be kept moist (particularly if soils are dry) immediately after planting to encourage root growth but taper off moisture after bloom as bulbs head toward dormancy. Promptly remove spent flower spikes so plants do not need to expend energy on seed production. Bulbs are commonly grown in containers, especially when forced for indoor winter bloom.

It can be grown in USDA zone 4 with mulch, but does well in higher zones without mulch.

The plant blooms in mid spring and each bulb usually produces only one flower scape. The flowers are pungently sweet and marketed as a natural plant deodorizer for the home kitchen or bathroom, however, the perfume scent can be troublesome for asthmatics. Some regard it as a patriotic plant with "red, white & blue" colors. 

It is often used as a forced interior pot plant or in outdoor landscapes in massing or edging beds. If grown as a perennial outdoors, it can lead to smaller- sized, widely-spaced flowers each successive year. A large number of hybrid cultivars are available in commerce under this species name in flower colors including various shades of blue, purple, pink, red and white.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

 No serious insect or disease problems. Bulb rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Wear gloves when planting bulbs to avoid possible allergic skin reactions.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Backyard Respite Landscape
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Jacket'
    ‘Blue Jacket’ produces navy blue flowers.
  • 'Woodstock'
    ‘Woodstock’ produces maroon/burgundy-purple flowers.
Tags:
#purple#red#white#bulb#poisonous#fragrant flowers#container plant#pink flowers#edging#houseplants#fantz#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#problem for cats#ebh#problem for dogs#problem for horses#ebh-g
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Jacket'
    ‘Blue Jacket’ produces navy blue flowers.
  • 'Woodstock'
    ‘Woodstock’ produces maroon/burgundy-purple flowers.
Tags:
#purple#red#white#bulb#poisonous#fragrant flowers#container plant#pink flowers#edging#houseplants#fantz#spring flowering bulbs#HS302#problem for cats#ebh#problem for dogs#problem for horses#ebh-g
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hyacinthus
    Species:
    orientalis
    Family:
    Hyacinthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia, Mediterranean, Southern Turkey
    Wildlife Value:
    attracts polinators
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought
    Bulb Storage:
    Mulch during the winter in zone 4.
    Edibility:
    Toxic to humans
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 3 in. - 0 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Poisonous
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    After flowering, the seed capsules ripen. Capsules are fleshy, spherical structures that dry and split into three parts, each containing seeds. Ants find the seeds and take them into their burrows for food. There the seeds can germinate.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers on single erect stalk, each 6-parted, funnel-shaped, variously colored, fragrant. A many-flowered, scapose raceme, cylindrical; bracts small. 15-40, white, blue or pink, tubular-campanulate, heavily scented, waxy; perianth lobes 6, spreading-reflexed. Hyacinthus orientalis flowers in mid-spring (April/May) for 2-3 weeks.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Soft
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Basal leaves 6 to 14 inches long and 0.25 to 4 inches wide. Bright green; margins upturned, creating keel midrib below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Small Space
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    Toxic only if eaten in large quantities. Causes minor skin irritation lasting a few minutes. Also causes stomach cramps, salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Dermatitis after contact with cell sap. Possible nasal irritation and asthma in susceptible persons. Bulbs contain the highest amount of toxin
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Alkaloids such as lycorine
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Sap/Juice
    Seeds
    Stems