Hyacinth can mean sorrow, sincerity and even jealousy depending on the particular color of the flower. Their beautiful shape makes them a great candidate for a tattoo if you’re looking for something different.
If you are considering getting a floral tattoo it can be very easy to fall into the trap of being overwhelmed, not knowing what you want and simply getting a rose or a lily because everyone else has one, you can find many different design ideas online and because it is easier for your artist.
However, it is worth remembering that the tattoo will (hopefully) be on you for life and you should choose something that holds a special meaning for you. Here we will be covering the hyacinth to give you a better idea about the meanings behind this beautiful plant. Although you may have seen it many times before you may not know much about it…
What is the History of Hyacinth Tattoos?
Hyacinth tattoos are not popular by any means but that does not mean that their actual counterpart is not. In the world of tattooing when it comes to floral tattoos the rose has long remained the king and perhaps the lily or the daisy the queen. They have still yet to be dethroned, but that is what makes alternative flowers such a great choice – not everyone has them!
The hyacinth was actually previously considered to be in the same family as the lily, although this has now been amended. These incredibly smelling plants with their multiple delicate star-shaped flowers have been very popular throughout history.
Around 1560 the flower was originally brought into Europe from the middle east, specifically from Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. However, because the plant was not native to Europe it was still considered to be a plant for the wealthy and those working in the field even by the 17th and 18th centuries.
Despite their middle eastern origins, it is believed that the flower actually got its name (its western name) from the Greek man Hyakinthos. According to legend, he was killed by Zephyr, the god of the west winds, when he was fighting with Apollo for the young man’s attention. Zephyr eventually lost the man’s attention to Apollo and retaliated by killing him.
It is said that having used the wind to strike and kill him, Zephyr left, but Apollo was so upset by the loss that he planted a flower (the hyacinth) on the spot where the young man died.
However, there are alternative theories as to the name, such as those believing it is derived from the word for blue gemstone “jacinth”.
What Do Hyacinth Symbolize?
Although you may be charmed by the beauty and the intoxicating smell of this particular flower and wish to give it to a loved one, you should reconsider your actions!
The hyacinth symbolizes jealousy. Although they certainly make an attractive looking bouquet, you should not gift them to someone that you admire as they could very easily give off the wrong impression.
However, if you do want to gift someone a bouquet of hyacinth then you can adopt the Victorian meaning behind the flower when they were given out at sporting events to the victors to symbolize their winning. This perhaps still ties in with the idea of jealousy.
However, this plant also holds other, alternative meanings, such as sorrow and sincerity. Because of these meanings, they are not uncommon at funerals.
Within the Christian church, the hyacinth has been used as a symbol of happiness and love, completely turning the other meanings on their head.
What Do Hyacinth Tattoos Mean?
When it comes to the meanings behind the hyacinth flower, like with the majority of flowers you should consider the color. Not only does each flower have its own meaning but the color also adds an additional element to the meaning behind it.
For example, perhaps the most common coloring that you will see is the blue hyacinth. This means sincerity. This is a good example of how you can gift someone a small bouquet of this flower, to show them that you mean well.
The purple version of this flower is also another very common color. As with most other purple flowers, here it represents wealth and royalty. When tied in with the fact that this flower can also symbolize forgiveness, this is the perfect flower for someone that you admire and are grateful to.
White hyacinths represent purity and innocence and gifting someone a white flower is a sign that you care for them and are praying for them.
Although they technically embody passionate and romantic love, the red hyacinths are not usually given as a token of romantic love. However, they are still great for livening up the home.
The yellow version of this flower is the one that you need to be careful about! The yellow hyacinth means jealousy. You can use it to decorate your own home but do not gift it to someone else!
Where Do Hyacinth Tattoos Usually Go?
Because of their rectangular shape, hyacinth tattoos are almost perfectly suited to the forearm, regardless of gender. You can choose to make the tattoo as big or as small as you like and the shape of the plant will almost perfectly fit it.
This also works the same for the calf as it will give your artist a nice area to work with and it will frame your tattoo well.
Characteristics and Styles of Hyacinth Tattoos
Because the color of hyacinths is so beautiful but also so important to their meaning a colored version of this tattoo is a good idea. You can choose a bold design, opting for bright splashes of purple in the flowers to contrast against the green of the stems. If this is your style then opt for a brighter shade as this will bring out the design better.
Alternatively, and especially if you want a darker shade, choose a watercolor style as this will not overpower your tattoo, as all of the small details can quickly muddle your tattoo.