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The perfume of blooming hyacinths is as symbolic of early spring as lilacs are to the late-spring garden. Hyacinth plants consist of chubby, succulent leaves arranged around a central flower spike. Florets pack the flower column in tight clusters. Bulb hybridizers have been busy pushing the envelope on hyacinth color ranges and flower forms. Hyacinth hybrids are now available in almost every color except black. The double forms have rosettelike flowers that add intriguing texture.
Hyacinths thrive in any well-drained soil in full to partial sun. Many varieties -- usually the ones with the most robust flowers -- will force easily indoors in soil or damp pebbles if planted and chilled until sprouts appear.