All White on the Night
The derivation of the name for a crocus, is one of those circular arguments that make you wonder how serious the people who decide where names come from, are about all this. Our word crocus comes from the word for saffron in various old Mediterranean languages. So good so far, and pretty reasonable really, seeing that crocuses and saffron are fairly intimately connected. We are using the word intimate here for a very good reason, considering what saffron is and where it comes from, anatomically speaking. The name for a crocus spoken in any of these ancient and mostly unspoken any longer, languages sounds a bit like the word for a crocus in Sanskrit. So, it could have been borrowed from there by Hebrew, Aramaic or Arabic. Unless of course, Sanskrit borrowed it from Aramaic, Arabic or Hebrew first.
Anyway, wrenching ‘ze leettle gray cells’ away from this croceus conundrum, what I really wanted to show you the crocus picture for, was to validate a piece of information I had passed on to you, in a previous post – Still to Come. Here, I mentioned that the pollen of the white crocus was white, while that of all other colours was yellow. Since that time we have prowled the local garden centres peering down the funnel of every white crocus we can find – to allay the suspicions of the staff I have flitted from plant to plant, on tip-toe, making a soft, contented buzzing noise and flapping my arms rapidly.
So far, all the pollen we have found has been yellow. Have we been fed duff gen? This (pictured on a sunny day last week), is our only white crocus so far, it is currently rolled up tight all day, against the bitter weather and we can’t give a definitive answer.
We’ll just have to mark this one as ‘On-going’.