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Re: Amarant(h) and _alfirin_

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  • 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 1 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
      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 2 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
        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 3 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
          --- 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 4 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
            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 5 of 8 , Dec 19, 2007
              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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