Event #241b: One more from August 17, 2011

The flowers that were part of the "wolf" bureau arrangement

So I was curious about the flowers that she left with the “Wedding Message”. Bob had described a flower that was behind her ears and in her braid and I wondered if the yellow flower that had been left on the dresser was one of the same. When I showed it to Bob, he thought so, and it did meet his description. But when I looked it up in my books, and came up with a pretty confirmed match, I was surprised to find out it was “Ragweed”. Why would they use something common like Ragweed as part of something as important as a wedding ceremony? And yet, clearly, that is what it was. To the left is a close-up of just the flower part of the bureau arrangement. I did try to do some research on Lenape wedding ceremonies and the use of any plants, including ragweed, and could not turn up much. Here is one quote I found from the site “helium.com”: A member of the Asteraceae (sunflower) family, ragweed is also known as bitterweed, bloodweed, crownweed, and mayweed.  The genus name Ambrosia derives from the word used by the ancient Greeks to describe the food of their gods. According to legend, anyone who ate ambrosia (an unidentified fragrant plant) would receive immortality.” I wish I could find some info on Lenape wedding ceremonies. There is not much available online, maybe I just need to spend some more time at it. But the sprig of Ragweed was not the only flower that Nuttah left in the bureau arrangement.

A close-up of the purple flower in the 8/17 arrangement

There was a very small purple flower as well, which you can see towards the top of the picture. Fortunately, the following day, after I had placed the sprigs in water, I took a photograph. Had I waited even until the following evening, I would never have known what these were, as they did not last even that long. The flowers were completely spent by the time I got home from work on the 18th, but at least I had a picture that I could download, and here it is, to the right. On the weekend, I spent some time with my flower books to try to get a match on this one, and I’ve come up with a type of  “clover” called Tick-Trefoil. I can’t find any specific Lenape use for this plant yet, but my research continues.

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