The Dutch, or common, hyacinth of house and garden culture (H. orientalis of the northeast Mediterranean) was so popular in the 18th century that over 2,000 types were cultivated in the Netherlands, its chief commercial producer. This hyacinth has a single dense spike of fragrant flowers in shades of red, blue, white, or yellow. A variety of the common hyacinth is the less hardy and smaller blue- or white-petalled Roman hyacinth (var. albulus) of florists. Types of brodiea, camass, squill, and other lily-family plants with flower clusters borne along the stalk are also called hyacinth. Hyacinths are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.
The related grape hyacinths (Muscari), sometimes called baby's-breath, are very low, mostly blue-petalled herbs similar in appearance to hyacinths and are also commonly cultivated.