Amaranth – Amaranthus ssp.

Sacred to: Artemis

Myth 1: In Greek mythology, Amaranthus was a hunter of the island of Euboea, a son of King Abas. He was loved by the goddess Artemis and joined her in the hunt. But he insulted Poseidon as worthless, claiming the bounty of the hunt was superior to that of the sea. For this the god sent a giant wave, which washed him into the sea and drowned him. Artemis then turned him into an amaranth-flower, her sacred plant.

Myth 2: According to the Greek mythology, amarantos was a flower hidden by gods. The person who will find it, will become immortal

Other Notes: The flower, sometimes called “amaranth” and sometimes called “amarantine,” is sacred and is a symbol of eternity.

Aesop’s Fables (6th century BC) compares the Rose to the Amaranth to illustrate the difference in fleeting and everlasting beauty.

 

A Rose and an Amaranth blossomed side by side in a garden,

and the Amaranth said to her neighbour,

“How I envy you your beauty and your sweet scent!

No wonder you are such a universal favourite.”

But the Rose replied with a shade of sadness in her voice,

“Ah, my dear friend, I bloom but for a time:

my petals soon wither and fall, and then I die.

But your flowers never fade, even if they are cut;

for they are everlasting.”

Milton’s Paradise Lost, iii. 353:

“Immortal amarant, a flower which once In paradise, fast by the tree of life, Began to bloom; but soon for man’s offence To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows, And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life, And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven Rolls o’er elysian flowers her amber stream: With these that never fade the spirits elect Bind their resplendent locks.”

 

 
 
Amaranth - Amaranthus_retroflexus
Amaranth – Amaranthus_retroflexus

Illustration Credit: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz1885, Gera, Germany [Image in Public Domain]

 

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