Tigridia pavonia & cochineal

Jim McKenney jimmckenney@starpower.net
Sat, 13 Aug 2005 05:58:13 PDT
Yes, John, but it seems to be more confusing than that.

Both kermes and cochineal come from scale insects. Kermes, as you note, has
an ancient history in Old World: as the saying goes, and as you note, the
Greeks had a word for it.

The dye from the New World scale insects (cochineal) is much more readily
and profitably collected than kermes. And some think that the color is

Doesn't the word cochineal refer specifically to the product obtained from
the New World scale cultivated by the Aztecs and exploited so successfully
by the Spanish? The cochineal trade in Europe is probably nearly five
hundred years old: like the Tigridia, cochineal must have been one of the
first of the new things to arrive in Europe from the New World. 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where we are all red faced
this morning, and it has nothing to do with either embarrassment or
cochineal: it's the nearly unbearable heat and humidity. 

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