Nine Ladies Dancing
Honoring the Mother Mary
By Debra Knapke
It seems appropriate for this season that we celebrate plants that reference the Mother Mary.
If you see Lady as part of the common name, it is probable that this is a plant that was precious to the Mother Mary. There are many stories that combine Mary’s love of plants and how they figured in different moments of her life.
Other common names that relate to Mary include virgin and, of course, the eponymous: Mary. In 2004 I was one of many Ohio authors at a book signing event in Cleveland. We were at tables in alphabetical order. My table partner was Vincenzia Krymow, author of Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends, and Meditations: Living Legends of Our Lady. We had a delightful time discussing plants, philosophy and life as we waited for someone, anyone, to buy our books.
The plants loved by Mary are beautiful and many are herbal. If you decide that you would like to create a garden that honors Mary, consider these nine plants:
- Lady’s mantle – Alchemilla mollis –
- (Our) Lady’s thimble – Campanula rotundifolia
- Virgin’s bower – Clematis vitalba
- (Our) Lady’s slipper – Cypripedium calceolus
- Christmas rose; rose de Noel – Helleborus niger
- Mary’s dying plant – Lavandula officinalis (L. angustifolia is the valid name)
- Rosemary – Rosmarinus officinalis
- Marigold – Tagetes sps. and cultivars
- Costmary – Tanacetum balsamita
‘Wishing you remembrance and love for this season.