Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis) are beautiful additions to southern gardens. They offer vibrant floral color with tall spikes of showy blooms and bright green foliage. Hyacinths belong to the asparagus family. They are perennials that produce showy, fragrant flowers that you will look forward to blooming with every year. Read on to learn more about hyacinths and how to plant, grow, and care for them anywhere, including in your gardens, containers, and window sills.
Hyacinthus orientalis, or the common hyacinth, is a fragrant flowering plant that blooms in early to mid spring. Hyacinths produce showy blooms in shades of blue, purple, white, pink, and red. The flowers appear in thick clusters on tall spikes – each spike has small, heavily fragrant, bell-shaped flowers. Long light green leaves form around the base of the plant.
As beautiful as hyacinth bulbs are, they can cause skin irritation. The bulbs of the plant are made up in part of calcium oxalate crystals, which act like invisible barbs to the eye. They can cause microscopic breaks in the skin that cause itching and irritation, so be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling the onions and before touching your skin, face, or eyes. Hyacinths are also poisonous for pets.