Orpine & Royal Fern
Flowers and Trees of Tudor England
Orpyn: Sedum telephium, often called Hylotelephium telephium, orpine, livelong, frog’s-stomach, harping Johnny, life-everlasting, live-forever, midsummer-men, Orphan John, witch’s moneybags is a succulent perennial groundcover of the family Crassulaceae native to Eurasia. It is native and occurs throughout the British Isles. Some varieties like ‘Autumn Joy’ are popular herbaceous garden plants. The name Orpine comes from a contraction of the French orpiment, derived from the Latin auripigmentum – a gold pigment. The name was applied to several species of the genus Sedum with bright yellow flowers but was applied to the only European species with pink flowers. The other popular name, Livelong, refers to the ability of this succulent plant to survive for long periods (several months) without water. This gave rise to several country customs – in one, girls are said to set up two plants, one for themselves the other for their sweetheart, and to estimate fidelity on their young man’s part by his plant living and turning to hers, or not; again, the girl hangs several pieces named after several boyfriends, and the one which lives longest decides who was to be the successful suitor. In some places the name is Livelongand-Lovelong. Since these ceremonies are often carried out on Midsummer eve, the plant is also called Midsummer Men. Osmondar: Osmunda regalis, or royal fern, is a species of deciduous fern, native to Europe, Africa and Asia, growing in woodland bogs and on the banks of streams. The species is sometimes known as flowering fern due to the appearance of its fertile fronds. The Royal Fern, so called from its dignified appearance, is a native species found in wet land throughout the British Isles, but ‘almost extinct in most heavily-populated areas owing to the depredations of collectors.’ It also has a long ancestry: spore containers (sporangia) from this family of ferns have been found in some coal beds, and stems resembling those of Osmunda are known from Permian times. According to one legend, it derives its name from Osmunda the daughter of Osmund, a boatman on Loch Tyne, who carried her to an island and hid her in a clump of this fern when the Danes came. Or it may come from the Latin words os, a bone, and mundare, to clean. There is a reference to it as Bonwurt, which might indicate early medicinal uses.
|Dimensions||22.8 × 33.6 cm|