hyacinth

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Hyacinth

(hī`əsĭnth) or

Hyacinthus

(hīəsĭn`thəs), in Greek mythology, beautiful youth loved by Apollo. He was killed accidentally by a discus thrown by the god. 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.

hyacinth,

any plant of the genus Hyacinthus, bulbous herbs of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family) native to the Mediterranean region and South Africa. The common, or Dutch, hyacinth of house and garden culture (derived from H. orientalis of the NE Mediterranean) became so popular in the 18th cent. that 2,000 kinds were said to be in cultivation in Holland, the chief commercial producer. This hyacinth has a single dense spike of fragrant flowers in shades of red, blue, white, or yellow. A variety of the common hyacinth is the less hardy and smaller blue- or white-flowered Roman hyacinth (var. albulus) of florists. The flower of the Greek youth HyacinthHyacinth
or Hyacinthus
, in Greek mythology, beautiful youth loved by Apollo. He was killed accidentally by a discus thrown by the god. According to another legend, the wind god Zephyr, out of jealousy, blew the discus to kill Hyacinth.
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 has been identified with a number of plants (e.g., iris) other than the true hyacinth. The related grape hyacinths (Muscari), sometimes called baby's-breath, are very low, mostly blue-flowered herbs similar in appearance to hyacinths and also commonly cultivated. Types of brodieabrodiea
or brodiaea
, any plant of the genus Brodiaea, herbs of the family Liliaceae (lily family), with narrow leaves and blue or purple star-shaped flowers. The many North American species include the golden brodiea (B.
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, camasscamass
or camas
, any species of the genus Camassia (or Quamasia), hardy North American plants of the family Lilaceae (lily family), chiefly of moist places in the far West, where their abundance has given rise to various place names.
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, squillsquill,
common name for two genera of Old World bulbous plants of the family Liliaceae (lily family). The horticulturists' squill is any plant of the genus Scilla,
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, and other lily-family plants with flower clusters borne along the stalk are also called hyacinth. Hyacinths are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

hyacinth

[′hī·ə‚sinth]
(mineralogy)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

hyacinth

1. any liliaceous plant of the Mediterranean genus Hyacinthus, esp any cultivated variety of H. orientalis, having a thick flower stalk bearing white, blue, or pink fragrant flowers
2. the flower or bulb of such a plant
3. any similar or related plant, such as the grape hyacinth
4. a red or reddish-brown transparent variety of the mineral zircon, used as a gemstone
5. Greek myth a flower which sprang from the blood of the dead Hyacinthus
6. any of the varying colours of the hyacinth flower or stone
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Also, the fact that Musaeus's hair clustered in hyacinthine grace upon the delicate rose of his downy cheek' may well be a code.
The appeal to animal traffickers is obvious: A single hyacinthine macaw can fetch $6,500 to $12,000 in the United States.
I examined the contour of the lofty and pale forehead--it was faultless--how cold indeed that word when applied to a majesty so divine!--the skin rivalling the purest ivory, the commanding extent and repose, the gentle prominence of the regions above the temples; and then the raven-black, the glossy, the luxuriant and naturally-curling tresses, setting forth the full force of the Homeric epithet, "hyacinthine!" I looked at the delicate outlines of the nose--and nowhere but in the graceful medallions of the Hebrews had I beheld a similar perfection.
hyacinthine locks Round from his parted forelock manly hung Clustering, but not beneath his shoulders broad: She as a veil down to the slender waist Her golden unadorned tresses wore Dishevelled, and in wanton ringlets waved As the vine curls her tendrils, which implied Subjection, but required with gentle sway, And by her yielded, by him best received, Yielded with coy submission, modest pride, And sweet reluctant amorous delay.
And Poe makes use of Homer's epithet, like Wilde, several times even: In `The Visionary' (`The Assignation'), the Marchesa Aphrodite dazzles the beholder with hair clustered `in curls like those of the young hyacinth'.(9) In `Ligeia', `the raven-black, the glossy, the luxuriant and naturally-curling tresses' of the heroine bring to the narrator's mind `the full force of the Homeric epithet, "hyacinthine!"'.(10) And in `To Helen' (lines 6-10), the epithet has found its most famous expression in English literature:
Adam's "Hyacinthine Locks" hanging "round from his parted forelock" and Eve's hair "as a veil down to the slender waist" (PL 4.
Travellers there spot more than 600 species of birds, including the rare blue and yellow "Hyacinthine macaw," the largest member of the parrot family measuring 39 inches from tail to beak.