Sun break photos

Jim McKenney
Wed, 03 Mar 2004 14:09:06 PST
At 10:29 AM 3/2/2004 -0800, Jane McGary wrote:
>Regarding Tulipa orithyioides (the spelling "orithyoides" I got from Josef 
>Halda's seed list, and Janis Ruksans's catalog has "orithioides"; they may 
>both have transliterated it from Cyrillic), it is slightly fragrant and has 
>two or three flowers per stem. I agree with the idea that it must come from 
>the mythological Orithyia (or however it may be spelled). If the first 
>element is from "orei" and not "ori," then Jim McK's suggestion may also 
>apply, allowing for the vagaries of linguistically and orthographically 
>challenged botanists; however, I would guess the second element then to be 
>"thuias/thyias" 'maenad, wild woman of the hills' rather than "thuia" 
>'juniper'. Thus we imagine Vvedensky naming this little tulip as a maenad, 
>or bacchante, wandering on the hills. The subject would need to be pursued 
>in the Flora of the USSR, which I don't possess. If someone would like to 
>photocopy the appropriate page and mail it to me, or tell me where I can 
>see it on the Internet, I can perhaps figure out the derivation. It may 
>finally stimulate me to download that software that lets you read web pages 
>in different writing systems.

I've seen a few Russian botanical publications, and the ones I've seen use
the Roman alphabet for writing botanical names, not the Cyrillic. Do some
web searches and you'll find lots of citations of Russian language texts
with Roman characters used for the botanical names in the Cyrillic text.
Are there some which use the Cyrillic alphabet only? 

If anyone imagined "this little tulip as a maenad, or bacchante, wandering
on the hills." it was probably D. Don, not Vvedensky and certainly not me.
If you want to pursue the meaning, Vvedensky might have something to say
about it, but a probably better source would be D. Don in Sweet's British
Flower Garden, Series II t. 336 (1836). Thank you, IPNI. Don is the author
of the genus Orithyia, which when Vvedensky named Tulipa orithyioides in
1935 was still regarded as a good genus by some. My guess is that to
Vvedensky, orithyioides "meant" nothing more than "like the genus Orithyia".

Watch out: now that I have the IPNI I'm armed and dangerous!

Your suggested etymology for Orithyia sounds good to me, too. I considered
going the maenad route, but opted for the seemingly simpler mountain
juniper. In any case, I think the maenad business is simply a metaphoric
extension of the mountain juniper business. I'll bet that in countries with
goats and sheep, there must be lots of metaphors and stories derived from
the ability of some conspicuous plants to survive where everything else has
been eaten. 

Anyone out there know of any metaphors based on the ability of Eremurus to
survive in grazed areas? 

Jane, you are well ahead of me here in Maryland: Fritillaria ariana has yet
to emerge above ground; in fact, even the most advanced frits are just
little green noses right at ground level. I wish we were close neighbors -
I might even let you borrow my Liddell & Scott. : )

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County Maryland zone 7 

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