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Flowers in Greek Mythology April 30, 2009

Posted by woodtree0587 in Uncategorized.
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Here is something some or you might find interesting: how, according to Greek mythology, certain flowers came about!

In the Greek language the term ‘flora’ is ‘chloris’. It is derived from the name of the goddess of vegetation, Chloris, which reasonably makes sense, right? Makes sense to me.

The word ‘iris’ is derived from the name of the messenger of gods, Iris (go figure), her role was to accompany souls to their places of eternal peace, by a rode, that was marked by the rainbow, which was comprised of the flowers Iris and the many colors that they come in.

iris-flower

iris-goddess1

The next flower that received recognition for a Greek god is the daffodil. The Greek god, Narcissus, is the son of the river god Cephisus and a forest nymph, and according to legend he was exceptionally handsome. All the nymphs desired him, but he was in love with only one person, himself, apparently one day while he was admiring himself in a pool that was formed by the River Elikon, the other gods decided that they would punish him for his impudence. So they made him fall into the pool and he drowned there (fairly odd seen as how he was the son of the river god), but only a flower now remains where hell fell, the narcissus or daffodil. This flower will always bear a golden crown, and consequently the daffodil grows and bows over the waters of lakes and rivers (ironic isn’t it?).

daffodil-flower

narcissus

The name Adonis has a countless myths inked to his name. One story goes like this; Zeus, mightiest of all gods, decreed that Adonis must spend two thirds of one year on earth with Aphrodite and the other third with Persephone in the Underworld. As it comes to pass Adonis is killed by a boar and Aphrodite, after learning of Adonis’s death, sheds as many tears as the blood drops that fell from Adonis’s body. From every tear that is shed a rose bush grows and every kind of rose known to man (that obviously was not bred by man) is formed by every drop of blood. Also from Adonis’s blood came a short lived flower called Anemone, which is significant because of Adonis’s short lived life.

Roses and Adonis/Aphrodite and Anemone

Last by not least are the Crocus flowers which are white or violet with dark veins. In Homer’s Iliad, he compares the color of the sky at sunrise with that of the crocus when he writes of the, ‘crocus-mantled down….’ The flowers have striking red stigma, also known as pistils, which is the upper part of the female organ which is normally sticky to allow for the pollen to be collected. The when the stigmas of the crocus are dried they make saffron, produce a yellow color used to dye fabrics and makes a very good spice. Another interesting mythological story for crocus is how it received its name. accordingly the god Hermes was playing in the countryside which his friend Crocus, when he accidently wounded him in the head. As Crocus died three drops of blood fell in the center of a, then nameless plant, and became the three red threads of the crocus plant, which was therefore named of Hermes’ friend Crocus (go figure once more).

crocus-flower

hermes

Well that’s all I have for now I hope you all like this and found it as interesting as I did.

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