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THE LEGEND OF THE GERANIUM

Geranium
Geraniums in my garden in Portugal

Legend says that the prophet Mohammed went one day to the mountain to pray and on his return he hung his sweaty shirt on a geranium growing next to his tent. As by miracle, the geranium held then the shirt up to the sun until it was completely dry.

At the time, so goes the legend, geraniums were still weeds, but Mohammed was so pleased with the service the geranium had rendered him that he covered the plant with velvety red blossoms that fill the air with a sweet fragrance.

The name geranium of this plant comes from the Greek word “geranos” – which gave “geranium” in Latin and means “crane’s bill” – because the form of its fruits resembles the bill of this bird. Europeans began cultivating the geranium only in the 15th century when the Portuguese navigators brought the plant from its native land of South Africa.

Geraniums are very useful plants to have in our garden, especially during the hot season, because they keep away mosquitoes and flies that are real plagues of the beautiful summer days. It is also believed that snakes will not go near places where white geraniums grow. In countries with a mild climate like Portugal, geraniums last all year round; but in countries with cold weather they will die in winter.

Symbolism related to the geranium is quite diverse: true friendship, stupidity, craziness, meeting...

© Dulce Rodrigues

 

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