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Featured Flower: Grape Hyacinth

muscari forestMuscari, or grape hyacinth, are the favorite flower of this site's admin, as well as the author of our featured flower article.

Grape hyacinth are so named because their clusters of small, bell-shaped, cobalt-blue flowers look like clusters of upside-down grapes.  This awesome flower has a very delicate smell and a beautiful presentation.

In the Mythology, the wind god Zephyrus was actually responsible for the death of Hyacinth. The boy's beauty caused a feud between Zephyrus and Apollo. Jealous that Hyacinth preferred the radiant archery god Apollo, Zephyrus blew Apollo's discus off course, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo didn't allow Hades to claim the boy; rather, he made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood. According to Ovid's account, the tears of Apollo stained the newly formed flower's petals with the sign of his grief. However, the flower of the mythological Hyacinth has been identified with a number of plants other than the true hyacinth, such as the Iris.

The Grape Hyacinth flower (Muscari) is part of the Liliaceae (Lily Family); it is native to Greece and the Middle East and can be found around the Mediterranean Sea from Spain all the way round to Morocco.  Today are grown in Austria and France and in many of our US gardens, like the one in the White House Rose Garden!

Muscari are available in a wide range of colors, and the meaning of this flower according to the color, is:
•    Hyacinth (general) - Games and sports; rashness; flower dedicated to Apollo
•    Hyacinth (blue) - Constancy
•    Hyacinth (purple) - I'm sorry; please forgive me; sorrow
•    Hyacinth (red or pink) - Play
•    Hyacinth (white) - Loveliness; I'll pray for you
•    Hyacinth (yellow) - Jealousy

The most common commercially available muscari are blue, but your local florist can work with their wholesalers to accommodate special orders.

(Thanks to Felipe Bernal from Transflora for the featured flower article.  Transflora provides muscari from Holland to retail florists.)

Did you know...

Orchids are the largest family of plants in the world?  Dendrobiums alone have over 1000 species!  All dendrobium orchids are epiphytes, meaning they grow on other plants and absorb water an nutrients through root-like structures.

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