Vincent van Gogh admired Japanese artists by the way they could study a single blade of grass. Inpsired by their approach, Vincent made this drawing of a Tassel Hyacinth. He described it as a 'hasty' study in a letter to his brother Theo (letter 182). That seems rather unlikely, considering the amount of detail in the work.
Van Gogh painted this Tassel Hyacinths shortly after entering the psychiatric institution at Saint-Rémy. Drawing a precise floral study like this might have helped comfort and sooth him. A few months later he wrote to Theo that he calmed himself by gazing at 'a blade of grass, a pine-tree branch, an ear of wheat.'