Page 13, 21st May 1937

21st May 1937
Page 13
Page 13, 21st May 1937 — FLOWER LEGENDS

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People: Sweet William
Locations: Reading, Rome


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Sts,—Reading and enjoying the short article in your recent issue-Flowers of Our Lady's Dower "—I wondered whether I may be permitted to add to the list.

The Snowdrop, fairest of flowers, has two names that may not be so universally known—one is that of our own country in ancient days—" Purification Flower," from the fact of its having been brought from the Holy Land and planted by the pilgrimmonks around their monasteries, where they are still to be found round and Over old monastic sites—also because of their early blossoming. The other name is that of " Our Lady's Tears."

In Provence the Forget-me-not is called "Eyes of the Holy Child Jesus "—and though not exactly connected with the Mother, may possibly be named here.

The graceful Harebell is often called " Our Lady's Thimble"; the Meadowsweet is the "Lady of the Meadow," or '' Queen of the Meadow."

The Rose-Campion is "Our Lady's Rose"; the Quaking Grass is " Our Lady's Hair "; Thrift is "Our Lady's Cushion"; the Kidney Vetch, " Our Lady's Fingers"; a lovely, very rare Orchid, is called "Our Lady's Slipper," and in France and Portugal has the same name. The charming, low-growing, Ivy-leafed Bellflower or Toadflax was commonly called the "Herb of Our Lady "; Black Bryony is " Our Lady's Seal"; "Her Nightcap," the Wild

Convolvulus. The pet flower of youth, Sweet William, is "Our Lady's Cushion."

Even the Sea-Thistle is dedicated to Our Lady, and, of course, the very name of May—as of the Holy Thorn of Glastonbury and all Hawthorn, Shakespeare's

Marybuds "—the tiny scentless " May I.ily" (an orchis), etc., all derive from her beloved name.

The story connected with the ivy-leafed bellflower is singularly attractive: that birds would carry to those in cages a leaf of this tiny plant and so freed them from captivity as " the feathered body died." M. E. R. Rome.

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