Life in Colour

Bonus Purple.

“Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples, that liberal shepards give a grosser name, but which cold maids do Dead Men’s Fingers call”

Shakespeare, Hamlet

The wild ‘Early Purple Orchid’ (Orchis mascula) often arrives with the bluebells and its classic colour is magenta – a reddish purple – however occasionally white and pale pink flower spikes can be found. The leaves are are shiny with dark purple blotches.

In the quote above, the Early Purple Orchid is the “long purple” of Ophelia’s garland, as referred to by Gertrude in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Have You any purples In Your neighbourhood?

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

44 thoughts on “Life in Colour”

  1. I found this: “The ‘long purples’ are referring to early-purple orchids (Orchis mascula), although opinion is split over which plant the crowflowers refer to in Ophelia’s garland. Some believe that Shakespeare is referring to the white water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis), while others argue that it is the ragged robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi).”

    1. You would think it would be the water-crowfoot which flowers around the same time as these orchids. I think ragged robin is later.

  2. ahh wild orchids – how fabulous 😀 I have found a purple for you today, might have one next week too 😀

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