Dodecatheon etymology

Travis O
Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:50:48 PDT
Interesting, David.

But of course Pliny was talking about a species of Primula (which species, does anyone know?) since Dodecatheon is a New World genus.  Linnaeus gave the name Dodecatheon to collections from Virginia (D. meadia?)

But why retain the name for this New World genus? One theory includes the number of pints it took to come up with the name (12).

A very mild possibility, the goddess Persephone (sometimes included in the 12 primary Greek gods, according to Wikipedia), a god of spring and flowers (and oddly the wife of Hades), could have something to do with it, though if that were true Linnaeus would have named it Persephoneia or something horrible like that.

Finally there's a possibility that the clustered flowers were reminiscent of the 12 primary Greek gods to Linnaeus.

Travis Owen
Rogue River, OR

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