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Plants Online - Hyacinth

Plants for sale - Hyacinth

42

HYACINTH

Family LILIACEAE
Hyacinthus orientalis
Perennial

A genus of bulbous-rooted plants found wild in the Mediterranean region and Asia Minor.

In Hyacinthus orientalis and its varieties the leaves are strap-shaped and the flowers are bell-shaped, an inch or more across, and borne in a dense raceme on thick stems up to a foot or more in height.
The colour of the flowers can vary from white to yellow, orange, red, blue, pink and purple and are strongly scented.
Hyacinths are produced very extensively in Holland where the plantations comprise pure sand into which has been introduced a liberal quantity of cow manure.
Hyacinths may be grown easily in well-drained soil.
The time for planting is in late summer or early autumn.
They are particularly well adapted for cultivation in bowls or pots, and by appropriate treatment may be forced into bloom for Christmas if given the requisite temperature under the moist and humid conditions of a greenhouse.

Propagation is by offsets or from seed.

The flowering season is in April.

Hyacinth
Hardy Bulb.
A foot to eighteen inches.
Flowers of various colours, in April.

Few spring flowers can compete with the Hyacinth, either in form, colour or scent. It is unfortunate that it is not perennial in English soils, and that in comparison with other bulbs it remains decidedly expensive.
To obtain a yearly show of bloom fresh bulbs must be bought every autumn; the roots that have flowered survive, and if properly treated may give some bloom for several successive springs, but only bloom suitable for rough borders and spare corners, not for the geometrical beds on the front lawn.
For a proper display, the soil must be well dug and ought to be somewhat light and sandy.
No fresh manure will be required, but the ground may be enriched with leaf-mould, road-scrapings and the like.
Buy bulbs of a trustworthy house; hardiness and heaviness are a better criterion of future quality than mere size.
Look over the bulbs at the time of planting, and carefully pare off with a sharp knife any decayed places among the scales or at the base.
Plant with a trowel, three or four inches deep and eight or nine apart every way; even distances may be secured by pressing a straight piece of wood (a rake handle, e.g.) on the soil so as to mark parallel lines on the surface, and repeating the process at right angles, the intersections marking the places for the bulbs.

At this rate it will take about a hundred bulbs to plant a bed two and a half yards square – a rather expensive proportion, the beginner will probably think.
For outdoor planting (which should be finished before the end of October) avoid the double flowered kinds; masses of one colour, or of two colours in complete harmony, are most effective; but the amateur may have to be content with a bed or two of “mixture”.
The best kinds of singles for bedding are those sold in distinct shades of colour and simultaneous in flowering; if all colours are required, obtain a “mixture” (one that is not too cheap).
If named sorts are desired, the following singles are all good and dependable:

White: Alba maxima.
Belle Blanchisseuse.
Mont Blanc.

Light Blue: Grand Lilas.
Pieneman.
Queen of the Blues.

Dark Blue: King of the Blues (unapproachable and indispensable).

Rose and Pink: Gigantea.
Grand Vainqueur.
Norma.

Crimson: Général Pélissier.
Maria Catharina.
Vuurbaak.

If the soil is heavy or clayey, the holes for the bulbs may be made of double depth and partly filled with light compost containing plenty of silver or sharp sand; the bulb itself may be bedded in a half-handful of pure sand.
The ground is required for summer bedding almost as soon as the hyacinths are out of flower; therefore, as soon as the spikes are shabby the plants should be carefully forked up and replanted (with as little damage as is practicable to the root fibres) in some spare corner of the garden.
Here they will finish their growth and ripen the new bulbs as well as our climate allows; and without further attention will give some very fair spikes of bloom for several seasons.

There are three varieties which are quite hardy, very beautiful and much neglected in English gardens; the Grape, the Feather and the Musk hyacinths.

The Feather hyacinth produces a purplish plume of finely-cut petals;
the Grape a conical cluster of globular bells, of a delightful shade of blue.
The bulbs are absolutely hardy, and will stand a good deal of shade from trees.
They should be planted in October, two inches deep and two apart, if possible, in large masses, as half their effect depends upon the body of colour which they produce in quantity.
The Grape Hyacinth may be “naturalised” in grass or rough land, and is at its best among half wild surroundings.

The proper name of this family is Muscari; the best varieties of the Grape Hyacinth are Muscari botryoides (the type) and Muscari b. conicum, or “Heavenly Blue”.
The Feather and Musk Hyacinths are respectively Muscari monstrosum and Muscari moschatum.

See Also : Grape Hyacinth

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