Could “Double Yellow” Hyacinth Be 200-Year-Old ‘Ophir’?

You be the judge. Could this double yellow hyacinth preserved by a small botanic garden in Lithuania be the celebrated ‘Ophir’ of almost 200 years ago? It’s tall and late-blooming, as old catalogs say ‘Ophir’ was, and although Alan Shipp of the British National Collection of Hyacinths told us he “can’t be 100% certain,” he added that “since yellow hyacinths didn’t appear until about 1770, and there were never more than a few double yellows at any time in history, chances are this really is ‘Ophir’.” Whatever its name, it’s the only double yellow hyacinth available anywhere in the world today, and we’re thrilled to have a very few to offer you!

double hyacinths in Flowers in an Urn
on a Stone Ledge,
Jan Frans van Dael, 1794
“Double Yellow” hyacinth from Lithuania
(photo courtesy of John Snocken)
‘Ophir’ in Robert Sweet’s Florist’s
Guideand Cultivator’s Directory
, 1827

For another tale of rediscovery, see Back from Extinction: Last “Eyed” Hyacinth Rediscovered in Romania.