Long, long ago, I may have bought a hyacinth plant. I don’t remember, but I know they have bulbs. And I know what they look like, because I have seen the pictures. Yet this year a hyacinth bloomed in my front yard, and it was not true to type. It had only a few blossoms here and there, and there was not the canonical pattern of a tall tower of tiny flowers bursting from a single stem. That’s why I had trouble recognizing it, at first.
Its lonely, sparse blossoms opened, and inside there was pollen. But who was the pollen for? Don’t hyacinths propagate through bulbs? And why were there no insects who wanted to come and partake of the feast? Could the wind be helping to spread whatever needs spreading? See how the pollen seems to scatter out of the bloom!
Propagating through bulbs is asexual, like cloning. But if pollen in turn leads to seed, then the new plant, once mature, won’t necessarily grow true to type. This hyacinth, I think, is not the one I bought. It is a love child of my former store-bought plant – related, but different. I like that thought.