By Bobby J. Ward
An interesting survey of eighty plant genera, with a large number of references to, and extracts from, fable and literature through the a while. This pleasant booklet will encourage you to examine your personal backyard in a brand new mild, in keeping with what William Blake or the traditional Romans acknowledged approximately them.
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Extra resources for A Contemplation upon Flowers: Garden Plants in Myth and Literature
However, the Marguerite daisy refers to the same Bellis species. Thus, when Wordsworth in "To the Daisy" wrote, "Bright flower! whose home is everywhere"; or when John Clare pronounced, "The Page 18 daisy is a happy flower"; or earlier still when Chaucer wrote how Queen Alceste "was turned into a Daisie," I have generally chosen not to quibble about the genus or the species to which the authors were referring. I simply accepted at face value the common English or its translated name and relied on the context to help readers identify the plant botanically and horticulturally, if necessary.
However, the stems and leaves contain needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate, a powerful skin irritant. The genus name Arum is from the Greek aron, the classical name for the plant. It is related to an old Arabic word ar, for fire, a reference to the burning or bitter taste of the leaves. The elegant and formal look of the upright spadix and surrounding spathe has resulted in a quaint and picturesque common name, lords and ladies, which most Page 46 frequently refers to A. maculatum. Cuckoo-pint, cuckoo-pintle, and priest's pintle are common names used in some British counties.
Pick it up and read it front to back, or dart about from flower to flower. Gathering this anthology has been genuine fun and a joy, giving me many hours of personal pleasure. I hope readers will find pleasure among these pages as well. BOBBY J. WARD RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA Page 26 Brave flowersthat I could gallant it like you, And be as little vain! You come abroad, and make a harmless show, And to your beds of earth again. You are not proud; you know your birth: For your embroider'd garments are from earth.
A Contemplation upon Flowers: Garden Plants in Myth and Literature by Bobby J. Ward