Botanical Trivia

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2017, 06:53:18 AM »
The cover photo on yesterday's MGS Facebook page is of an Echium. Apparently these plants were once thought to discourage snakes. Also it seems that drinking the root in wine was considered to be effective against snake bites. A bit of a drastic way of finding an excuse to have a quick tipple to my mind!  :-\
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #46 on: October 06, 2017, 08:44:46 AM »
While searching through my photos I came across this one that I took in Morocco on an MGS tour there in 2014. It stood out because it fitted in with the previous post. It's of an Echium horridum. The horridum in this context not merely meaning horrid but 'very prickly'.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2017, 09:17:38 AM »
On today's Plants of the World on postage stamps Hilary has featured a variety of Anemone. I've often heard it said that anemones are named for the wind from the Greek anemos. However there seems to be little evidence to support this. Another theory is that it comes from a word of Semitic origin that referred to a lament for Adon or Naaman (Adonis) that was taken into the Greek language. As we know mythology says that Adonis was killed by a wild boar and wherever his blood fell there grew a blood-red Anemone coronaria.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 09:20:17 AM by John J »
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

David Dickinson

  • Sr. Member
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Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2017, 10:57:19 AM »
Edward Elgar referred to his anemones as "windflowers". If you think of Elgar as only a composer of patriotic marches then the whole of his violin concerto and in particular the "windflower" theme in the first movement will be a revelation to you. First a short clip discussing who "Windflower" really was. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq4YQIoXZxg. One of the all-time classic recordings of the concerto is to be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eioIa_ELIUU.  No matter that the violinist was only 16 when he recorded it with the composer! The "Windflower"  theme in its first form is from 6.00-7.33 min and in a more passionate form from 13-11 to 14.29. But even here the theme falls back to sad reflectiveness (recognition of the hopelessness of the situation?) before the turbulent close of the movement. How overwhelmed both the windflower and Windflower herself must have been to have inspired such music.

I have a small garden in Rome, Italy. Some open soil, some concrete, some paved. Temperatures in winter occasionally down to 0°C. Summer temperatures up to 40°C in the shade. There are never watering restrictions but, of course, there is little natural water for much of June, July and August.

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2017, 06:52:30 PM »
Today my wife presented me with a list of seeds to order from the MGS Seed Exchange. Two of them in particular stood out, mainly due to the fact that their specific names were a little difficult to pronounce. Because of this I decided to find out how they came by them.
They were;  Scilla mischtschenkoana - named for a Russian botanist, P I Misczenko (1869-1938).
and;  Salvia przewalskii - in honour of Nicolai Mikhailovich Przewalski (1839-1888) a Russian explorer of Central Asia.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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JTh

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #50 on: November 11, 2017, 02:38:41 PM »
I have some additional information about the word Przewalski; I had no idea it could be the name of a man as well, so I learnt something new today, John. When I was a student at the vet. school, we had to learn about horse races (not racing), and we were told that the Norwegian national horse, the fjord horse, was genetically close to the Przewalski horse ( Equus ferus przewalskii), a rare and endangered wild horse native to Mongolia. The fjord horse has some characteristic colouring: a dark stripe in the center of the mane and dark ‘grips’ on the legs, just like the wild horse, otherwise they are all dun coloured. I would never have remembered these details if it hadn’t been for that difficult name which was so difficult to pronounce.
Veterinary surgeon by training with a phD in parasitology, worked as virologist since 1992.
Member of the MGS and Branch website editor. Gardening in Oslo and to a limited extent in Halkidiki, Greece.

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2017, 06:31:35 PM »
Have literally just come upon what are claimed to be lucky flowers based on the day of one's birth.
I was born on a Saturday and apparently I should be dark and brooding. I'm also obliged to take life very seriously and be ambitious. My flowers are dark reds and browns, heavily scented russet coloured wallflowers, bronze chrysanthemums, deep red fuschias and dark coloured dahlias.
The flowers couldn't be further from the truth, but I'll leave any comments on my personality traits to those who know me well!  8)
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #52 on: Today at 10:28:20 AM »
John Tradescant the Elder (c 1570-1638) was a renowned gardener and plant collector. I recently came across a list of plants that he had acquired between 1629 and 1633. He had written the list in the back of his own copy of John Parkinson's book 'Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris'.
It particularly struck me as the first three plants on the list were ones that I have in my own garden today. I had not realised that the history of these plants being grown in the UK went back so far.
The plants are:
Sittissos Amarantinum (Medicago arborea).
Barba Jovis (Anthyllis barba-jovis). Tradescant was the first to grow this plant in England.
Poligolan (Coronilla valentina).
The above basically originate in the Mediterranean area. The list is quite extensive and once I have had time to study it more closely I may add other posts.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)

Hilary

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #53 on: Today at 11:47:11 AM »
Great something to read with a cup of tea while a gale blows outside.
So while you are on the Tradescant trail what about these two?
MGS member
Living in Korinthos, Greece.
No garden but two balconies, one facing south and the other north.
Most of my plants are succulents which need little care

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John J

  • Hero Member
Re: Botanical Trivia
« Reply #54 on: Today at 03:23:08 PM »
Two plants that I also grow, Hilary, but the Tradescants wouldn't have. Both are from Mexico, the Tradescantia sillamontana is named for the Silla Mts in that country. It was discovered I believe by Dr Eizi Matuda, probably in the early part of the 20th C. The Tradescantia pallida 'Purpurea' was found and named in 1907.
Cyprus Branch Head. Gardens in a field 40 m above sea level with reasonably fertile clay soil.
"Aphrodite emerged from the sea and came ashore and at her feet all manner of plants sprang forth" John Deacon (13thC AD)