Pink





The Clove Pink, or Carnation of our gardens, though found

apparently wild on old castle walls in England, is a naturalised

flower in this country. It is, botanically, the Dianthus

Caryophyllus, being so named as anthos, the flower, dios, of

Jupiter: whilst redolent of Caryophylli, Cloves. The term Carnation

has been assigned to the Pink, either because the blossom has the

colour, carnis, of flesh: or, as more correctly spelt by our older

writers, Coronation, from the flowers being employed in making

chaplets, coronoe. Thus Spenser says:--



Bring Coronations, and Sops in Wine,

Worn of paramours.--Shepherd's Kalendar.



This second title, Sops in Wine, was given to the plant because the

flowers were infused in wine for the sake of their spicy flavour;

especially in that presented to brides after the marriage ceremony.

Further, this Pink is the Clove Gilly (or July) flower, and gives its

specific name to the natural order Caryophyllaceoe. The word

Pink is a corruption of the Greek Pentecost [433] (fiftieth), which

has now come to signify a festival of the Church. In former days the

blossoms were commended as highly cordial: their odour is sweet

and aromatic, so that an agreeable syrup may be made therefrom.

The dried petals, if powdered, and kept in a stoppered bottle, are of

service against heartburn and flatulence, being given in a dose of

from twenty to sixty grains. Gerard says, a conserve made of the

flowers with sugar is exceeding cordiall, and wonderfully above

measure doth comfort the heart, being eaten now and then. A water

distilled from Pinks has been commended as excellent for curing

epilepsy, and if a conserve be composed of them, this is the life and

delight of the human race. The flower was at one time called

ocellus, from the eye-shaped markings of its corolla. It is nervine

and antispasmodic. By a mistake Turner designated the Pink

Incarnation.





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