Facts & Folkore:
Also known as Granny's Bonnet, this flower is found in meadows, woodlands, and at higher altitudes throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and is known for the spurred petals of its flowers. Its Latin named is derived from the word for eagle (aquila), because the shape of the flower petals are said to resemble an eagle's claw. The common name "columbine" comes from the Latin for "dove" due to the resemblance of the inverted flower to five doves clustered together. In Greek and Roman culture, Columbines were the symbol of Aphrodite (Venus in Roman culture), goddess of love and fertility. . Similarly, In Norse culture, Columbines were associated with Freya, goddess of love and fertility. In Celtic culture, the flowers were supposed to open doorways to other worlds (possibly due to the toxic effects of the seeds and roots which could induce hallucinations). Historically, Columbines are also associated with jesters for the resemblance to a court jester's hat, and in the performing arts, "Columbine" often appears as the love interest of "Harlequin," particularly in Harlequinade, a British comic theatrical genre, developed in England between the 17th and mid-19th centuries as a variant of the Italian Commedia dell'arte.
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