Some flowers have interesting mythological sources of nomenclature. Hyacinth is a bulbous plant (‘Hyacinthus’) derived from the name of a beautiful Spartan youth, accidentally killed by Apollo, the sun god, while playing quoits; from his blood, sprang the beautiful flower- hyacinth. Whilst this flower is found in an assortment of hues, from the tragic tale of its name, the purple hyacinth stands as a symbol of sorrow, a request for forgiveness. According to another legend, the wind god Zephyr, out of jealousy, blew the discus to kill Hyacinth. From his blood sprang a flower, which was named for him.
‘Cape hyacinth’, a species of Galtania, with white flowers indicate in its own way, “I’ll pray for you“. The wild hyacinth (also called the English blue-bell) and the grape hyacinth are other varieties of the same family. While scientifically hyacinth is now considered a potential area of food research, the red or pink hyacinth in flower-language indicates play, games, and sports. In fact, the yellow leaves symbolise jealousy and the blue hyacinth represents constancy. In language, the term ‘hyacinthine’ is derived from the flower-source, meaning anything as lovely as Hyacinthus or of a colour variously understood as purple, purple-blue, even golden.
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