Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Crown Imperial

Crown Imperial

Fritillaria imperialis

Majesty and Power

...bold oxlips, and
The crown-imperial; lilies of all kinds,
The flow'r-de-luce being one. O, these I lakc.
To make you garlands of and my sweet friend
To strew him o'er and o'er.
The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare 1564-1616

Originating in the Orient, this native to the western Himalayas is considered by some to be the "lilies of the fields" mentioned in the Sermon on the Mount.

According to another legend, the tears of Christ on the Mount of Olives fell into the crown imperial's petals, pressing them down in a sign of mourning.

As its meaning suggests, this majestic flower grows to a great height and looks down on all surrounding flowers. But unlike most of the lily family, it has a most unattractive scent.

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