Hyacinth by Hulme
Hyacinth by Frederick Edward Hulme published in Familiar Wild Flowers, printed serially from 1878 to 1905
The binomial name for the hyacinth is currently Hyacinthus orientalis. When the plant was first classified by Linnaeus, he called it Hyacinthus nonscriptus. Other names that have been applied to the hyacinth include Agraphis nutans and Scilla nutans, the former classification is the one Hulme used in his description of the flower. The flower’s name was inspired by the Greek myth regarding the youth Hyacinth, who was accidentally killed by a discus. A flower bloomed from Hyacinth’s blood and Apollo named the flower after the youth. Hyacinth was printed in the first series of Familiar Wild Flowers.
Native to southwestern Asia, the hyacinth was first introduced to Europe in the sixteenth century where it became widely popular. Hyacinths are a bulbous plant with the flowers forming on a stem spike, which is usually twenty to thirty-five centimeters high. Each spike can hold between two to fifty purplish flowers that usually measure over two centimeters long. However, many cultivars exist allowing for a wider array of color options as well as more densely filled spikes. Care should be taken in handling the bulbs as they are toxic.
Frederick Edward Hulme (1841-1909) was a drawing professor and amateur botanist. His father Frederick William Hulme (1816-1884) had been a successful landscape painter. Hulme studied at the South Kensington School of Art, which is now the Royal College of Art. In 1869, he was inducted as a Fellow of the Linnean Society. The following year, he became drawing master at Marlborough College, a position he held until 1883. While at Marlborough, he began work on his Familiar Wild Flowers, which was originally published as a series. Each flower description was accompanied by a colored plate, drawn by Hulme, and contained information as to the plants habitat and medicinal properties. In 1886, Hulme became Professor of Freehand and Geometrical drawing at King's College, London, and retained the position until his death.
- Naomi Bean
Plate size: 6.25" x 4.25"
Sheet size: 7.375" x 5.125"
Condition: In fine antiquarian condition.