Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Hyacinth



Hyacinthus is a genus of bulbous flowering plants, formerly placed in the lily family Liliaceae but now regarded as the type genus of the separate family Hyacinthaceae. They are commonly called Hyacinths, and are native to the eastern Mediterranean region east to Iran and Turkmenistan.


Hyacinth was a beautiful youth loved by both the god Apollo and the West Wind, Zephyr. Apollo and Hyacinth took turns at throwing the discus. Hyacinth ran to catch it to impress Apollo, but was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground, and died. A twist in the tale makes the wind god Zephyrus responsible for the death of Hyacinth. The youth'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. Apollo did not allow Hades to claim Hyacinth. Instead, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from Hyacinth's spilled blood.

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