Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Lady's Slipper

Marian Name: Our Lady's Slipper, Our Lady's Shoes
Common Name: Columbine
Botanical Name: Aquilegia x hybrida "Song Bird Blue Bird"

A gem from last year's planting, here's my newest favorite columbine from the Song Bird series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this past winter's harshness will not hinder it's returning to the Mary Garden in time to celebrate Our Lady's month of May. But since columbines are notorious self-seeders, I'm pretty sure to have some of these beauties in the future. *

The common name, columbine, refers to the dove-like spurred flowers before they are fully opened. while its latin name comes from the eagle wings-like curved petals. The dove is commonly associated with the Holy Spirit.

Among the Mary legends surrounding the columbine is one which has the flower springing up wherever her feet touched the ground as she made her way to her cousin Elizabeth's to share with her the Joyful News.

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ

* 4/24/09---Oops, what was I thinking! Note the "hybrida" part of the botanical name. Hybrids usually do not come true from seed. So much for a continuous supply of this cultivar from seed. And of course columbines are fairly short-lived. Sigh...


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