Plant Life Balance

By any other name

Orchid, garlic, carnation – how did plants get their common names?

Sunflowers are named for their sun-like radiance, Snapdragons for their resemblance to a dragon’s snout, and Bluebells, well, that’s too easy. What about the rest? 

Dandelion

Also named for its jagged appearance, dandelion is an Old French translation of Medieval Latin dens leonis or ‘lion’s tooth’.

Garlic
The compound Garlic means ‘spear leek’ in Old English, in reference to its spear-shaped leaves.

Carnation

Originally known as a coronation due to its jagged, crown-like edges.

Rosemary

Widely known in Latin as rosmarius meaning ‘sea dew’, primarily because it was often found in abundance on the coast. Later named for the Virgin Mary due to similar phonetics.

Pansy

Once popularly known as pensée, which is French for ‘thought’, due to its resemblance of a face with a thoughtful look. In England, it was often used as a gift which said “I am thinking of you”, often romantically.

Thyme

Often used as a burnt offering by Ancient Greeks, thyme originates from two words: thuos meaning ‘sacrificial incense’ and thuein ‘to offer a burnt sacrifice to the gods’.

Tulip

Through Persian, Turkish and New Latin iterations, a tulip looks like a turban.

Sage

Originally from the Latin salvia which means ‘the healing plant’ via the Old French word sauge.

Daisy

With origins in Old English, daisy was named ‘day’s eye’ because during the day, its petals open to reveal a central eye.

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Erigeron annuus 🌼

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