HERB - Re: Marigolds and Gillyflowers

Kathleen Keeler kkeeler at unlserve.unl.edu
Wed Apr 4 10:08:48 PDT 2001

> Jadwiga wrote:
> Note that clove gillyflowers were only introduced to England in the late 1300's or early
> 1400's. Earlier references to clove gilofre is apparently to clove buds. (What you learn
> on the cooks list!) Sometimes you can tell which is meant from the recipe.

this sounds like a nomenclatural morass. There are certainly species of _Dianthus_ (pinks,
carnations) native to England.  4 or 5 of them. The most common ornamental _Dianthus_ did
expand out of central Europe to England in the middle of Period and carnations came from
western Asia a little later.

I think I got this from a pair of Wildflowers of England books, which are at home.

The Brother Cadfael's Herb Garden notes" "clove-pinks were grown in monastic gardens mostly
for their beauty and fragrance.  "Dianthus' is mentioned by Theophrastus 4th C BC. ..Greeks
and Romans wove them into garlands. Carnation and coronation have same root.  The names
gilver, gillyvor, or gilly-flower were variously used in medieval times to describe
clove-pinks (_Dianthus_), stock (_Mattiola_) or wallflower (_Cheiranthus_).
July flower seems to be stocks (_Mattiola incana_)


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