Annals of Horticulture for 1848, p. 431

Charcoal For Hyacinths.

Sir Thomas Franklin once stated the effect of charcoal in restoring to health a hyacinth root, which was prepared for blowing in water, and after being a short time in the glass, threw out only a few fibres, which soon died at their extremities, the bulb becoming offensively putrid. A table-spoonful of powdered charcoal was stirred into the water, which immediately corrected the bad smell; but on the second morning after, it began to return.

Charcoal and water being renewed three times at two days' interval, the root became perfectly sweet, and flowered as well and nearly as soon as one of the same variety (Groot Yorst) which was placed on the chimney-piece near it.

[This putridity could not have passed beyond one or two outer skins, because it was impossible to recover the rotten portion; but charcoal will sweeten anything; even putrid fish would no longer smell offensive if well covered with charcoal.]