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Re: Amarant(h) and _alfirin_

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  • Jason Fisher
    Correction: XX1 XXI. Now how did *that* happen? :)
    Message 1 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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      Correction: XX1 > XXI. Now how did *that* happen? :)
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      The only problem here is that (speaking not as a botanist, but at least as a gardener), that natural flowers in a genus either possess the
      Message 2 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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        The only problem here is that (speaking not as a
        botanist, but at least as a gardener), that
        natural flowers in a genus either possess the
        'blue/lavendar/purple' gene, or they don't. This
        is apparently mutually exclusive with the yellw/
        buff/gold gene. A given genus may run white-pink-
        lavendar-magenta-blue-purple, and another one may
        run white-cream-yellow-orange-scarlet, but never
        the twain shall meet except in heavily hybridized
        flowers like roses or tulips (and even there true
        blue doesn't exist).

        So I can't see a golden-yellow amaranth.
      • juliet@firinn.org
        ... So, this is quite off-topic, but what about cosmos? I ve had seeds for the orange/yellow type and for the red/purplish-pink/white type. As far as I know,
        Message 3 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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          On Wed, Dec 19, 2007 at 06:17:56PM -0000, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
          > The only problem here is that (speaking not as a
          > botanist, but at least as a gardener), that
          > natural flowers in a genus either possess the
          > 'blue/lavendar/purple' gene, or they don't. This
          > is apparently mutually exclusive with the yellw/
          > buff/gold gene. A given genus may run white-pink-
          > lavendar-magenta-blue-purple, and another one may
          > run white-cream-yellow-orange-scarlet, but never
          > the twain shall meet except in heavily hybridized
          > flowers like roses or tulips (and even there true
          > blue doesn't exist).
          >
          > So I can't see a golden-yellow amaranth.

          So, this is quite off-topic, but what about cosmos?
          I've had seeds for the orange/yellow type and for the
          red/purplish-pink/white type. As far as I know, they're
          in the same genus (Cosmos sulphureus and Cosmos bipinnatus)
          and they're both very common and open-pollinated.

          Julie
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Oh, I agree. I wasn t really trying to suggest that _alfirin_ = amaranth, since as I noted the colors aren t right (though Tolkien himself is apparently
          Message 4 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
            >
            > The only problem here is that (speaking not as a
            > botanist, but at least as a gardener), that
            > natural flowers in a genus either possess the
            > 'blue/lavendar/purple' gene, or they don't.

            Oh, I agree. I wasn't really trying to suggest that _alfirin_ = amaranth,
            since as I noted the colors aren't right (though Tolkien himself is
            apparently inconsistent about the color of this flower, which is gold --
            and bell-shaped -- in one place, white in another). I was more
            intrigued by 1) the meaning of the name _amraranth_ 'un-withering'
            and 2) its poetic associations with mortality and immortality in Milton
            and Aesop.

            Carl
          • Lynn Maudlin
            I love it! Thanks, Carl-- ... mind ... the
            Message 5 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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              I love it! Thanks, Carl--

              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > While reading "Paradise Lost" recently...


              > I'm no botanist, but given the poetic associations cited
              > above, I wonder whether Tolkien might have had the amarant(h) in
              mind
              > when coining the name _alfirin_?
              >
              > It is also interesting to note that the name "Amaranth" occurs as
              the
              > name of a daughter of Gorbadoc Brandybuck (App. C, LR:[1104]).
              >
              > Carl
              >
            • "Beregond, Anders Stenström"
              ... My impression is similar to what is stated by the _Online ... That is, the application to real-world plants is secondary. I do not know where, but I think
              Message 6 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
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                Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                > Oh, I agree. I wasn't really trying to suggest that _alfirin_ = amaranth,
                > since as I noted the colors aren't right (though Tolkien himself is
                > apparently inconsistent about the color of this flower, which is gold --
                > and bell-shaped -- in one place, white in another). I was more
                > intrigued by 1) the meaning of the name _amraranth_ 'un-withering'
                > and 2) its poetic associations with mortality and immortality in Milton
                > and Aesop.

                My impression is similar to what is stated by the _Online
                Etymology Dictionary_:

                > . . . from Gk. amarantos, lit. "everlasting," from a- "not" + stem of
                > marainein "die away." In classical use, a poet's word for an imaginary
                > flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants
                > 1551.

                That is, the application to real-world plants is secondary.

                I do not know where, but I think that some thirty years ago I
                saw a reference to amaranth growing in the elysian fields along
                with the more often mentioned asphodel, which always was also a
                real-world plant. Asphodels are white or yellow; so _mallos_ might
                possibly be an idealized asphodel that combines these colours, and
                a fit companion to the amaranthine _alfirin_.

                Chivalrously,

                Beregond
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