|photo by ana traina ~2012~|
Columbine is the symbol of foolishness, based on the flower's resemblance to a jester's cap and bells, funnily enough. The name comes from the Latin “Columba” which refers to doves as some believe there is a resemblance in the inverted columbine flower to five doves nested together. “Aquilegia” comes from the Latin word “aquila” for “eagle” because the shape of he flower petals resemble an eagle’s claw. The Native Americans used Colombine leaves as a condiment with other fresh greens which adds sweetness to the dish and is safe in small quantities. However, the flowers and seeds are poisonous!
Culpepper tells us:
'The leaves of Columbine are successfully used in lotions for sore mouths and throats. . . . The Spaniards used to eat a piece of the root thereof in a morning fasting many days together, to help them when troubled with stone. The seed taken in wine with a little saffron removes obstructions of the liver and is good for the yellow jaundice.'
It has been employed on the continent, but according to Linnaeus, with very unsatisfactory results, children having sometimes been poisoned by it when given in too large doses. It is no longer used.
I have always been very fond of Cicely Mary Barker book called "Flower Fairies," ever since I can remember! So, I thought I share with you a little song from her Little Pink Book.
The Song of the Columbine Fairy
Who shall the choosen fairy be
For letter C?
There's Candytuft, and Cornflower blue,
Campanula and Crocus too,
Chrysanthemum so bold and fine,
And the pretty dancing Columbine.
Yes, Columbine! the choice is she;
And with her, see,
An elfin piper, piping sweet
A little tune for those light feet
That dance among the leaves and flowers
In someone's garden.
(is it ours?)
Last bit of odd and end ~ It was once considered very bad luck to give this flower to a woman because it meant that her hubby was probably being unfaithful.
And remember, dear Zingertales, whenever you garden it best to do it with a song, so sing loud and strong it helps with your flora's moodies!