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Heirloom Hyacinth Bulbs

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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All bulbs for fall 2019 are SOLD OUT. Thanks for a great season!

Order these fall-planted bulbs NOW for delivery this OCTOBER.


SAVE THE HYACINTHS! — Hyacinths are the most endangered garden bulbs. In 1886, D. M. Ferry offered 135 — twice the number of tulips and ten times the number of daffodils. But today you’ll find very few in most catalogs and gardens. What a loss!

Fragrant and quaint, hyacinths bring a rainbow of color into the garden well before tulip time. Wind a drift through your perennial border or force a few indoors and see if you don’t agree that they’re just too wonderful to let go extinct.

HYACINTH HISTORY, EXTRA-EASY FORCING, & TIPS FOR SUCCESS


Even Rarer Hyacinths — Every year we get a handful of spectacular bulbs that are so rare we offer them Web-Only. For an alert the moment they go on sale, subscribe to our free, monthly email newsletter.

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ANNA LIZA, 1972Rarest

Mauve? Lavender-pink? Soft rosy violet? Although ‘Anna Liza’s color may be hard to describe, it’s distinct and beautiful. And though it’s not very old, true stock is increasingly hard to find – so here it is! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-54
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

double CHESTNUT FLOWER, 1880

The starry, overstuffed florets of this Victorian double are a lovely “dawn pink.” Though double hyacinths were once the most sought after (learn more), today only a handful survive – and ‘Chestnut Flower’ is one of the best. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-12
3/$10
5/$16
10/$30
25/$71
50/$133

CITY OF HAARLEM, 1893

The wonderfully soft, baby-chick yellow of ‘City of Haarlem’ makes every hyacinth rainbow lovelier. Named for the bulb district’s grandest city, ‘Haarlem’ has been a favorite for well over a century. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-01
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

double GENERAL KOHLER, 1878

The opulent, lavender-blue bells of this rare double look as if they’ve been sculpted out of Bavarian sugar-frosting. Once discarded as freaks, double hyacinths rocketed into vogue in the early 1700s and remained the world’s most popular bulb for 150 years. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.

HY-15
3/$10
5/$16
10/$30
25/$71
50/$133

GRACE DARLING, 1910Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! ‘Grace Darling’ is named for the brave young daughter of a lighthouse keeper who rowed out with him in a raging storm to rescue shipwreck survivors. Her story captured the imagination of the Victorian age and before long people everywhere were singing songs and hanging lithographs of Grace on their parlor walls. Her namesake hyacinth is a lovely blue-purple, soft but vibrant (how fitting!). Though its date of introduction is unclear, Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection assures us it is “very old.” Zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care.

HY-43
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
Almost gone! Limit 5.

GRAND BLANCHE IMPERIALE, 1798Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Although far from showy, this is the oldest traditional hyacinth available today. Sold in the US by 1830, it was praised in 1894 for its “large thick bells” of “charming rosy or blush white.” By the 1950s it was thought to be extinct but it survived in a small botanic garden in Lithuania, and after the fall of the Iron Curtain a few bulbs made their way to Alan Shipp at the UK National Collection – and eventually here. 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care.

HY-45
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
Almost gone! Limit 10.

GYPSY QUEEN, 1927

“If I could grow only one hyacinth,” wrote Rand Lee in The American Cottage Gardener, “it would be this.” He praised its “luminous” apricot color, the “melon undertone” of its “considerable fragrance,” and how it “naturalizes effortlessly” in his dry, zone-6a Santa Fe garden. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-16
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
Limit 10, please.

MULBERRY ROSE, 1946Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! The unusual, old-fashioned color of this rare hyacinth sets it apart. It’s a misty puplish-rose, deeper in the center of the petals, paler at the edges, like raspberry ice cream swirled with raspberry sorbet. 8-10”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from the UK National Collection of Hyacinths. Chart and care.

HY-34
1/$8
3/$23
5/$36
10/$68
Limit 10, please.

ROMAN DARK BLUE, 1597Rarest & It’s Back!

Just a bit darker than the blue Romans we get from the Hortus, with slightly wider petals and an almost chocolate-colored stem, this fragrant, steadily multiplying charmer comes to us from Alan Shipp of the UK National Hyacinth Collection. A bit less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths: zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”. Chart and care.

HY-51
1/$9.50
3/$27
5/$42.50
10/$80.50
Limit 10, please.

ROMAN PINK, 1573Rarest

Like all true Roman hyacinths, this soft pink charmer is fragrant, graceful, and – maybe best of all – it will multiply into a clump that gets bigger and more beautiful every year. A little less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”, from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.

HY-37
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

ROMAN WHITE, 1597Rarest

After decades of searching, we’d all but given up hope of ever offering true white Roman hyacinths, but our prayers were finally answered by the Hortus Bulborum! Once so popular they were exported by the millions from the south of France, white Romans are graceful, deliciously fragrant, slightly less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”, from the Hortus Bulborum– and they multiply eagerly! Chart and care.

HY-52
1/$9
3/$25.50
5/$40.50
10/$76.50
25/$180

SKY JACKET, 1976Rarest

Soft, silvery blue tinted with lavender, ‘Sky Jacket’ glows when touched by spring sunlight. Although nearly 2500 acres of hyacinths are grown in the Netherlands, only 5 are devoted to this once leading variety. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-53
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

VUURBAAK, 1948Rarest

Favorites of the Victorians, so-called “red” hyacinths like this ‘Fire Beacon’ are actually deep, deep rose – the Tyrian purple of ancient times – and offer a dramatic counterpoint to spring’s many pastels. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-35
3/$8.50
5/$13.50
10/$25.50
Limit 10, please.

WHITE PEARL, 1954

Tests at Cornell University rated this mid-century beauty one of the ten best hyacinths for perennializing, and – unlike older, widely available, but scentless ‘Carnegie’ – it smells good! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-49
3/$7
5/$11
10/$21
25/$49.50
50/$93.50

DOUBLES DELIGHTSampler

Bursting with extra petals, double hyacinths were once the most prized. Rediscover their antique charms with this sampler of 4 unique jewels (clockwise from top left): ‘Madame Sophie’, ‘Chestnut Flower’, ‘General Kohler’, and ‘Hollyhock’. Save the Doubles! For zones 5a-8a(10bWC).

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers. Hyacinth care.

COF-35 1/$14 2/$26.50 3/$38 4/$47.50 5/$56 SOLD OUT

EASTER BASKET HYACINTHSSampler

Sample the rich colors and fragrances of these under-appreciated treasures. Easy to force and great in the garden in zones 5a-8a(10bWC). We’ll send five different singles, our choice, all terrific!

For 2, 3, or more of each, order additional samplers. Hyacinth care.

COF-02 1/$14.50 2/$27.50 3/$39 4/$49.50 5/$58 SOLD OUT

BISMARCK, 1875Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! We were shocked when the last Dutch grower abandoned this great Victorian favorite, because in our garden it returns and reblooms better than any other hyacinth. Now thanks to Alan Shipp, the Noah of hyacinths, it’s back! 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-11 1/$10 3/$28.50 5/$45 10/$85 25/$200 SOLD OUT

BLUE GIANT, 1935

“Blue giants” are the brightest stars in the universe, and the radiant, pearly-blue flowers of this Depression-era classic make it a worthy namesake. We’ve also found it extra easy to force. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-39 3/$6.50 5/$10.50 10/$19.50 25/$46 50/$86.50 SOLD OUT

DOUBLE YELLOW, OPHIR, 1827?Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! The rarest hyacinth we’ve ever offered, this extraordinary relic was preserved by a small botanic garden in Lithuania. Although its name was lost ages ago, it looks a lot like ‘Ophir’ pictured in Robert Sweet’s The Florist’s Guide and Cultivator’s Directory of 1827-32, and it’s tall and late-blooming like ‘Ophir’ was. “I can’t be 100% certain,” expert Alan Shipp told us, “but as yellow hyacinths didn’t appear until about 1770, and there were never more than a few double yellows, chances are this really is ‘Ophir’.” Whatever its name, we’re thrilled to have a very few to offer you! 11-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from England. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-48 1/$18.50 3/$52.50 5/$83 10/$157 25/$370 SOLD OUT

double DREADNOUGHT, 1899Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! With long outer petals that swoop back and curl like those of a turk’s-cap lily, and shorter inner petals crimped into a squiggly rosette, this is one of the most interesting – and rarest – of the Victorian doubles. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from the British National Collection. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-42 1/$9.50 3/$27 5/$42.50 10/$80.50 25/$190 SOLD OUT

GRAND MONARQUE, 1863Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! The embodiment of spring’s silvery blue skies, this heavenly hyacinth is old enough to have been grown by Florence Nightingale and Charles Dickens. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from our English friend Alan Shipp, the Noah of hyacinths. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-17 1/$9 3/$25.50 5/$40.50 10/$76.50 25/$180 SOLD OUT

double HOLLYHOCK, 1936

Small and cute, with double, pug-faced florets of vivid rose, ‘Hollyhock’ is unmistakably antique. Always the last hyacinth to bloom, it extends the fragrant season. 8-10”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.

HY-32 3/$12.50 5/$20 10/$37.50 25/$88.50 50/$167 SOLD OUT

KING OF THE BLUES, 1863Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Although most hyacinths today are a bit stout, this fabulous ‘King’ retains the narrow, pillar-like shape that was the norm long ago. Its amazing color, though, is what has preserved it – a deep, rich, dark purple that’s as satisfying as the darkest chocolate. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from the UK National Collection. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-19 1/$10.50 3/$30 5/$47 10/$89 25/$210 SOLD OUT

L’INNOCENCE, 1863Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! A favorite for almost 150 years, this warm white is one of the most perennial hyacinths in our garden and extra easy to force. Our impossibly easy, paper-bag-in-the-fridge instructions will show you how. 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from the UK National Collection. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-21 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

double MADAME SOPHIE, 1929

An intricately carved ivory relic, a flurry of fat snowflakes, a bed piled high with down pillows – that’s double ‘Madame Sophie’. How can white look so voluptuous? 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-23 3/$10 5/$16 10/$30 25/$71 50/$133 SOLD OUT

MARIE, 1860Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Our customers send us love-letters about ‘Marie.’ A deep, rich indigo purple, it was one of the oldest traditional hyacinth varieties grown in Dutch bulb fields until 2016 when it went commercially extinct. Lucky for us, Alan Shipp was able to get his hands on a few bulbs and now we're able to offer them to you! 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from the UK National Collection. Chart, care, and learn more. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-25 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

MENELIK, 1911Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Black is beautiful, and this astonishing hyacinth – named in honor of the Victorian king of Ethiopia – is an intense indigo-purple shading to absolute BLACK. Although it went commercially extinct in Holland in 2001, most years we get a handful of bulbs from Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection. 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-27 1/$10.50 3/$30 5/$47 10/$89 25/$210 SOLD OUT

PERLE BRILLIANTE, 1895Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! A shimmering, silvery blue-purple like antique pewter — or pearls — this Victorian relic was last harvested in the Netherlands in 2000. To preserve it, we sent a boxful of those final bulbs to Alan Shipp, holder of the UK National Collection, and now you can enjoy the happy fruits of our partnership! Learn more. 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-26 1/$9.50 3/$27 5/$42.50 10/$80.50 25/$190 SOLD OUT

QUEEN OF THE BLUES, 1870Rarest & Web-Only

It’s back! Although this soft, silvery blue charmer went “commercially extinct” in 2009, our friend Alan Shipp of the UK National Collection has been nurturing a small supply of it for us ever since. You’ll be glad you helped him save it! 10-12”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from England. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-29 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

ROMAN BLUE, 1562Rarest

One of our most sought-after bulbs, this graceful, cinnamon-scented wildflower multiplies happily year after year. It’s been passed along since colonial days, and though counterfeits are rife, ours from the Hortus Bulborum are 100% true. Slightly less cold-hardy than regular hyacinths – zones 6a-8a(10bWC), 8-10”. Chart and care. If you’d like to be notified when it’s back in stock, sign up for an email alert.

HY-31 1/$8.50 3/$24 5/$38 10/$72 25/$170 SOLD OUT

HISTORY — Hyacinths came to Europe from Turkey in the mid-1500s, and by 1730 some 2000 varieties were reported. From about 1780-1880 they were more popular than tulips. First grown as mixed collections of choice specimens, they later starred in the 1800s rage for forcing and were planted en masse in Victorian pattern-beds.

For the whole fascinating story, from their wild beginnings to the Ottoman Empire, Mme. de Pompadour, and beyond, see our Hyacinth History page.

HYACINTH ARCHIVES — For customer tips and raves, the stories behind the bulbs, links and books, history, news, and more, see our Hyacinth Newsletter Archives.

HYACINTHS AS CUT FLOWERS — Hyacinths are fabulous in bouquets. For tips on making them last, see our Bulbs as Cut Flowers page.

EASY FORCING — Forcing hyacinths into winter bloom became a great rage in the 1800s, and it’s a pleasure you can easily enjoy today. For simple instructions, see our Forcing Bulbs page.

TIPS FOR SUCCESS OUTDOORS — Hyacinths like rich, well-drained soil that’s dry in summer and full sun. Best in zones 5-7, they can succeed in zones 4 (well-mulched) and 8, too. Most grow 10-12 inches tall. We send 15-17 cm bulbs, the best size for gardens.

Some people are allergic to hyacinth bulbs, developing a localized itch, so you may want to handle them with gloves. Plant in mid-fall. If necessary, store till then in open bags in a cool, dry spot.

Hyacinths do best when DRY (but not hot) in summer. Choose a sunny site with well-drained soil, avoiding or improving clay or damp soil, or plant in raised beds. Plant bulbs with base 6-8 inches deep and 5-7 inches apart on center (or closer for a lush look). Scratch a tablespoon of bulb fertilizer into the surface soil (slow-release 10-10-10 is ideal). Water.

A light, airy winter mulch such as straw, oak leaves, or pine boughs is helpful in colder zones to minimize root damage from soil repeatedly freezing and thawing.

For best results, re-fertilize lightly spring and fall, and assure even moisture then. After bloom, strip off spent florets but allow foliage to yellow (to feed the bulbs for next year’s bloom) before removing. Close the hole left in the soil by the withering foliage to deter pests. And keep those bulbs dry!

Five-Second Staking — All hyacinths — even wild ones — topple eventually. Usually it’s no big deal, but if the weather is unseasonably warm it can be disappointingly premature. To counter this, take a thin green bamboo stake about 12 inches long and run it along right next to the stem from the top of the bloom-spike down into the soil a few inches (but not so deep that you hit the bulb). The florets will clasp the stake and you’re done!


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