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Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis

Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis


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Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis

Lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis, and carnation, Dianthus caryophyllus. Handcoloured woodblock engraving of a botanical illustration from Adam Lonicers Krauterbuch, or Herbal, Frankfurt, 1557. This from a 17th century pirate edition or atlas of illustrations only, with captions in Latin, Greek, French, Italian, German, and in English manuscript

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Media ID 23192096

© Florilegius/Mary Evans

Adam Captions Carnation Caryophyllus Convallaria Dianthus Edition Herb Herbal Krauterbuch Latin Lilium Lily Lonicer Majalis Pirate Woodblock Woodcut Altilis Betonica


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> Historic > Ancient civilizations > Ancient Greece > Greek history

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EDITORS COMMENTS
This exquisite handcoloured woodblock engraving showcases three beloved flowers from the botanical world: Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis), Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus), and Betonica, also known as Common Wood Betony (Stachys betonica). The image is taken from Adam Lonicer's Krauterbuch, or Herbal, published in Frankfurt in 1557. This particular print is from a 17th-century pirate edition or atlas of illustrations, featuring captions in various languages, including Latin, Greek, French, Italian, German, and English manuscript. The Lily of the Valley, with its delicate, bell-shaped white flowers and sweet fragrance, is depicted gracefully cascading down the page. The plant's name, Convallaria majalis, comes from the Latin words 'convallis' meaning valley and 'majalis' meaning majestic. Traditionally, this enchanting flower has been associated with the return of spring and the Virgin Mary. Nearby, the vibrant and fragrant Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) proudly displays its many petals, each adorned with intricate veining. The name 'caryophyllus' is derived from the Greek words 'karyo' meaning fruit and 'phullon' meaning leaf, symbolizing the sweet, fruit-like scent of the flower. At the base of the illustration, the humble Betonica, or Common Wood Betony (Stachys betonica), is shown with its distinctive, tall spikes of pink or purple flowers. The name 'betonica' comes from the Latin words 'beta' meaning house and 'onos' meaning ear, as the plant was believed to have the power to heal ear ailments. This stunning botanical illustration, with its intricate details and vivid colors, offers a glimpse into the rich history of botany and the fascination with the natural world during the Renaissance period.

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