Bellis

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Bellis Plinius in pratis nascitur flore albo aliquatenus rubente et cetera.


Apparatus:

Bellis ACD ef | Belis B

et cetera om. ef


Translation:

Pliny says that bellis {"daisy"} grows in meadows; it has a white or pinkish-tinged flower, etc.


Commentary:

This is a verbatim quote from Pliny, 26, 13, 26, ed. Rackham (1938-63: 284).

The word bellis is certainly reminiscent of Latin bellus "beautiful" with a Graecized ending: bell-is, gen. bell-idis, however, the etymology is ultimately uncertain. The word is first mentioned in Pliny.


Botanical identification:

The dictionaries usually identify bellis with Bellis perennis L. "the common daisy" [[1]] of pan-European distribution, but the genus Bellis comprises many flower species of similar appearance. It is perhaps more likely that Pliny – and Simon - had Bellis sylvestris Cyr. "the Mediterranean or southern daisy" [[2]] in mind, or Bellis annua L. "annual daisy" [[3]], all three species fit the description.

Wilf Gunther 27/02/14


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