Long Purples - in memory of The Bard

'There is a willow grave about a brook
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream
There with fantastic garlands did she come of crow- flowers, nettles, daisies and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name
But our cold maids do dead men's fingers call them'

So said Hamlet talking of Ophelia's death by drowning.

The 'grosser name' that Shakespeare  alludes to is their botanical name Orchis  -- from the Greek meaning testicle so  named  because of the shape of the plant's 2 tubers!! 

Amazing what you discover doing a bit of research for blip! I did Hamlet for A-level but don't remember any discussion about long purples!!

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