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Re: garden trivia

I wish. I have always liked folk tales, myths and legends of all sorts -- not to mention gossip. My family has always been that way so I know lots of them. Now don't ask me what I was supposed to have done yesterday...;-)
----- Original Message ----- From: "kmrsy" <kmrsy@netzero.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:46 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] garden trivia

You must have a fantastic memory.
neIN, Z5
----- Original Message ----- From: "Zemuly Sanders" <zsanders@midsouth.rr.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:05 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] garden trivia

What a great story, Kitty.  I always like to include interesting stories
whenever I speak about plants -- especially to a non-plant group.  I also
appreciate interesting stories from others.  When I went to Italy last
with my grandson and his Latin class I was able to tell all sorts of tales
related to the plants we saw. The teens, and Zach's Latin teacher, all
me how much they enjoyed the stories.
----- Original Message ----- From: <kmrsy@netzero.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 5:07 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] garden trivia

> Auralie and Zem,
> Those are great stories. I think it's fun sometimes to know a bit of
> background about our plants. Puts us on a more "intimate" footing with
> them.
> When I was writing a self-guided tour for our gardens I looked up > Scotch
> Thistle, Onopordum acanthium, the national emblem of Scotland.
> Apparently these 6ft to 10ft thistles saved the lives of soldiers and
> the entire kingdom from a night-time invasion (from whom I don't recall
> - but they came in boats) The marauders thought they could sneak up on
> Scotland at night under a negligible moon. But without the moonlight
> they kept running into thistles and screaming out in pain, thus > alerting
> the sleeping guards.
> Kitty
> -- "Zemuly Sanders" <zsanders@midsouth.rr.com> wrote:
> Auralie, thanks for all that good info. I just adore trivia and have
> of my own to add. In 1676 British soldiers in North America were
> commanded
> to go to Jamestown to suppress a rebellion. They were acutely short of
> food
> and, out of ignorance or through a misunderstanding, they they cooked > up
> the
> young shoots and leaves of Datura stramonium and ate them as a
> After a while they showed strange changes in their behavior.  They fell
> into
> a type of trance or "comical madness" that made them have all sorts of
> foolish notions and act stupidly.  One of them tried again and again to
> make
> a feather climb in the air and another threw straw until he was
> exhausted.  A third sat stark naked in a corner and contorted his face
> like
> an ape into a continual grin.  Everything they did was totally
> non-violent;
> they were simply good-naturedly idiotic.  Since those days, the
> name for Datura stramonium in North America has been "Jamestown weed,"
> which
> over time became "Jimson weed."
> zem
> ----- Original Message ----- > From: <Aplfgcnys@aol.com>
> To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
> Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 2:11 PM
> Subject: Re: [CHAT] garden trivia
>> In a message dated 10/20/2005 2:02:04 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
>> 4042N15@nationalhearing.com writes:
>> New York Aster, Aster novi-belgii
>> Novi-belgii is Linnaeus' attempt to translate New Amsterdam (now New
>> York)
>> into Latin; the Belgii were the tribe encountered by Julius Caesar in
>> Low Countries.
>> It's not a No play, but interesting nonetheless.  Anyone else with a
>> tidbit
>> to share?
>> Kitty
>> Did you really mean that, Kitty?  I am fascinated with such trivia.
>> Here are just a few:
>> The wildflower Muilla is an anagram derived by spelling its onion
>> relative
>> (Allium) backwards.
>>    The name nasturtium comes from the Latin nasus, bnose,b and
>> b
>> twisted,b because their pungent smell makes the nose wrinkle or >> twist.
>> The
>> botanical name is from the Greek tropaion, ba trophy,b referring to
>> shield-like shape of the leaves. In ancient Greece, the shields and
>> helmets
>> of defeated
>> enemies were fixed onto tree trunks. Linnaeus saw the plant twining >> up
>> post and thought the leaves looked like hanging shields and the >> flowers
>> like
>> helmets.
>> Celandine can be a noxious weed, but it is also an interesting and
>> attractive plant. When it is called by its botanical name and >> described
>> with
>> an
>> impartial eye, do you recognize Chelidonium majus? bChelidonb is
>> Greek word
>> for bswallowb, and the name for this plant is probably derived from
>> fact
>> that it begins to burgeon when the swallows arrive in spring and dies
>> back
>> when they leave again in autumn.  Legend has it that swallows use a
>> of
>> this plant, or its juice, to restore the sight of their young when
>> cannot
>> see.  Herbalist John Gerard debunked this belief, because, he thought,
>> did
>> Aristotle a millennium earlier, that the sight of blinded young birds
>> would be
>> restored spontaneously.   Carrying this plant on onebs person,
>> with
>> the heart of a mole, was supposed to enable the wearer to vanquish his
>> enemies, and also to win lawsuits.  Also, worn in the shoes, it was a
>> remedy
>> for
>> yellow jaundice.
>> .  Atropa belladonna, commonly called bdeadly nightshadeb is named
>> Atropos, a Greek goddess who determined the length of onebs life.  It
>> a
>> European
>> plant, and is a member of the Solanaceae family.
>> Maclura pomifera, or Osage oranges were named after the Osage >> Indians
>> of
>> Arkansas and Missouri, and brought East by the Lewis and Clark
>> expedition.
>> French explorers named the tree bois dbarc, or bbow wood,b which >> was
>> corrupted to bBodark,b a name given to some towns in the Midwest,
>> the fruits
>> are sometimes called bBodark apples.b The fruits, which look
>> remarkably
>> like
>> brains, are an effective cockroach deterrant. If they had been known >> in
>> Europe in the Middle Ages they would surely have been used for >> ailments
>> of
>> the
>> head, following the bDoctrine of Signatures.b The botanical name,
>> Maclura,
>> was
>> given in honor of William Maclure, who came from Scotland to America >> as
>> young
>> man, made a great fortune, and devoted the rest of his life to
>> the
>> world. He believed in the value of education in democracy, and toured
>> Europe
>> observing and commenting on religion, education, hygiene and sexual
>> customs.
>> He made the first geological map of the United States.
>> The herb, thyme, was introduced into Britain by the Romans, and >> listed
>> by
>> Aelfric. As an emblem of courage, thyme was added to soups and beer >> to
>> cure
>> shyness. During the middle Ages, ladies presented their bbold and
>> braveb
>> knights with bfavoursb embroidered with a sprig of thyme. The
>> plantbs
>> botanical
>> name, Thymus, is derived from either the Greek for courage or to
>> fumigate,
>> the
>> latter referring to its use as incense in temples.
>> Dahlias are called after Dr. Anders Dahl, a Swedish botanist. Until
>> recently
>> they were also called bgeorginas,b after the botanist Johann Georgi
>> Petersburg.  The name is still used in Eastern Europe.
>>   Peonies were for many centuries grown for medicinal purposes. The
>> botanical name, Paeonia, comes from Paeon, the physician of the Greek
>> gods. In
>> the
>> Iliad there is a description of Paeon stanching wounds with herbs.
>> stories
>> say that Asclepias became jealous of Paeon because he possessed the
>> healing
>> root and Zeus changed Paeon into a plant to save him.   Pliny the
>> who
>> died in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, attributed to it the power
>> cure
>> twenty different ills.  He said it should only be uprooted at night
>> bbecause
>> the
>> woodpecker of Mars, should he see the act, will attack the eyes in its
>> defense.
>> b
>>  What we usually think of today when we speak of Marigolds are several
>> species of Tagetes.  Now therebs a real native species, which we can
>> grow
>> without
>> any guilt about bringing in non-natives.  All species of Tagetes are
>> native to
>> the New World, from Arizona and New Mexico to Argentina.  They were
>> back
>> to Spain by early explorers, and from there to France, where they >> were,
>> for
>> some reason called flos Africanus. Linnaeus gave them the name >> Tagetes,
>> in
>> honor of Tages, the grandson of Jupiter who taught the Etruscans
>> haruspicy
>> (the
>> art of foretelling the future by examining entrails). These are the
>> bFrenchb
>> or bAfricanb types.
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