Flower of the Day – September 22 – Golden Nasturtiums

Today a flower that is not so rare as yesterday’s – quite the opposite, in fact.
It’s ‘common’ name is the Nasturtium and the Latin one, Tropaeolum majus. The Latin name has a most unlikely origin.

Tropaeolum majus was named by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the “father of modern taxonomy”.

He chose the genus name because the plant reminded him of an ancient custom: After victory in battle, the Romans erected a trophy pole (or tropaeum, from the Greek tropaion, source of English “trophy”) on which the vanquished foe’s armour and weapons were hung. The plant’s round leaves reminded Linnaeus of shields, and its flowers, which are on long, ‘pole like’ stems, of blood-stained helmets!

(Click on the pic to open in a new window and click again to see full size detail) 🙂
Lovewillbringustogether - Nasturtiums lit by the setting sun

link to:

Cee’s Flower of the Day – September 22, 2018 – Dahlia

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11 comments

  1. I absolutely love the history bits you give us. Who would ever have thought the common, easily grown nasturtium has this rather bloody historical association to its Latin name?? Well, better to hang the armor on poles than their heads, I suppose, but maybe they did that too? By the way, I am afraid to put these prolific flowers into my salads because there may be invisible snail droppings on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Carol! 🙂

      There was a certain barbarism back in the day (who am i kidding, stuff like that still goes on today) so maybe they did but i suspect the heads was more of a hoardes thing than the ‘civilised’ Romans. 🙂

      Like

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