Monday, October 11, 2010


Armeria maritima

Marsh-daisy grows wild in coastal areas across the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe. It grows in sandy salty conditions like beaches, dunes, tidal meadows and overdrev (commons). It is a popular garden flower known by several common names 'thrift', 'sea thrift' , 'sea pink' etc. The plant has been distributed worldwide as a garden and cut flower.
During the last 50 years it has spread to the edge of traffic roads where the salt from the winter period gives it good conditions of life.

Folklore and habits in Denmark:
In the old days the plant was used as a border in garden beets. Children used it in their games, they fought with the long flower stems, until the one part's 'head' fell off. The stems were used in order to plait fine figures, like 'church windows', and the stem with the flowers for beautiful garlands or bridal wreaths. Little garlands were hung in the loft beam in the living room for the flies in order to avoid flyspots in other places.
Children sucked nectar from the flowers, and in some places the plant was called rugblomst (rye flower), because a bouquet of the flowers gave a scent like newly baked rye bread. The plant had many local names like Kongens Knap (the King's Button), Vorherre's brød (Our Lord's Bread). Some names had something to do with the spring lambs that liked to nip the flower heads. The shepherds' children thought that if they plucked the flowers then the lambs would die.

photo 310508: grethe bachmann, Gammel Ry, Mid Jutland

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