in thread: ayn2001_05_06:18:54
tom said earlier 2001_05_06:10:15
|The flower in the picture is Caro's hybrid fuchsia that she has named Winston Churchill, something that, as a great admirer of Churchill, just cracks me up. ||"Tyrian hue" means "purple", the color of royalty. In ancient Greece and Rome it came from Tyre, and was made from some kind of mollusk. In Imperial Rome only the emperor was allowed to wear purple--it was considered treason for anyone else to do so, and punishable by death. ||Now, some people like purple, but in circumstances like those the only people who dared to do it had to like purple a lot, with an almost psychotic passion, and even they only dared to it in private. And the meaning of wearing purple was distorted. It no longer just meant, "I like purple." It meant, "Purple means power, and I love power so much that I'm willing to risk my life to emulate the most powerful person in the world." ||Wearing purple became a fetish.
Actually, I didn't name it; that's the name of the cultivar and thus is a generic name. Its full name is
Fuchsia X hybrida "Winston Churchill",
and it's available at nurseries. If I were to name this individual who is sharing my home, I'd be more likely to call it "Baby Doll" or "Party Girl" or "La-De-Da" or something undignified like that.
I don't know anything yet about the tradition of naming fuchsia cultivars. Many of the names have to do with gambling, excessive money, or royalty: Dollar Princess, Silver Queen, Winston Churchill, Bingo, Guinevere, Jack of Hearts. Maybe it's because, if you don't look too closely, they look very stately and proud. When you get to know them personally, though, it turns out that they are just silly and flouncy and vain. Their flowers are ridiculous. Maybe its the look of ostentatious wealth and extravagance.