Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Lily in the language of flowers



The Lily's height and beauty speak command. The Jews imitated its form in the decorations of their first magnificent temple; Christ described it as more splendid than King Solomon in his most gorgeous apparel. According to ancient mythology there was originally but one species of Lily and that was orange colored and the white was produced by the following circumstance: Jupiter, wishing to render Hercules immortal, prevailed on Juno to take a deep draught of nectar which threw the queen into a profound sleep. Jupiter then placed the infant Hercules at her breast so that the divine milk might ensure immortality. Hercules drew the milk faster than he could swallow it and some drops fell to the earth from which immediately sprang the White Lily. (From "The Floral Offering: a Token of Affection and Esteem; Comprising the Language and Poetry of Flowers" by Henrietta Dumont.

12 comments:

  1. Love the little 'stories' for plants.

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  2. Oh how creative those ancients were with their explanations for such things.

    Is that regale?

    Frances

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  3. They certainly are beautiful enough to make one create stories about them. You just want to take a slurp of that buttery yellow in the center.

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  4. I love the history and ethnobotany of flowers. So interesting!

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  5. Thanks Phillip, Those ancient Romans were clever! I must remember to send a thank you out into the universe when the white lilies bloom! gail

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  6. What a lovely bloom with that golden throat. IMHO, those ancient Greeks and Romans had way too much imagination;)
    Marnie

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  7. Hi Phillip, I just suggested your blog for my friend Curtiss Ann who moved to Mobile a few months ago. I love stories about how flowers were named. Thanks,~~Dee

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  8. And I have recently fallen in love with lilies...all manner of lilies. I happily discovered crinums in the yard of my new old home. They don't seem to be blooming abundantly. Must research what to do.
    CurtissAnn

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  9. good images of the milk falling to earth....certainly have a lot of cows listening in on that story!

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  10. Those white lilies are beautiful.

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  11. Very nice short story. What is the name of that lily if you don't mind me asking ?

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  12. Hi Ben, it is the Trumpet Lily "Regale"

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