“He wrapped himself in quotations – as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.” [From “Many Inventions” by Rudyard Kipling]
I haven’t read this book, but I was struck by the novel idea of wrapping oneself in quotations. I wonder what the context was for the quote? Anyway, the purpose of this post is not the quotation but the colour mentioned. Purple is my favourite colour and noticing the word purple in this quote sent me off on a mini-journey of discovery. As the quote suggests, purple symbolises royalty, nobility, luxury, ambition, wealth, magic, mystery. I already knew some of that. But there is a lot I didn’t know about it.
I searched for the many photos of purple flowers in my archives. As I browsed, I’m ashamed to say that I hardly know the names of most of them. I got to thinking about all the flowers that are purple and came across this fun fact on ProFlowers.com: there are 62 (yup, you read that right, 62) types of purple flowers. Many of which give us variations for the colour of purple such as violet, lavender and lilac, as well as names such as Heather and Hyacinth. Here’s a smattering:
Verbena, Clematis, Dwarf Iris, Catmint, Salvia, Allium, Agapanthus, Anemone, Sea Holly, Cosmos, Calla lily, Coneflower, Cyclamen, Crocus, Gladiolus, Foxglove, Lisianthus, Heliotrope, Aster, Morning Glory …
Once I was on the track of thinking about purple, names of songs, books and other purple things sprung to mind:
- “Purple Rain”
- “The Color Purple”
- “Purple Haze”
- “Purple Medley”
- “Deep Purple”
- “The Purple Heart”
And then other things that are naturally purple – crystals such as amethyst, ametrine, charoite, sugilite and violet flame opal and birds such as the lilac-created roller, purple-backed starling, purple martin, splendid sunbird, and more. Purpura, the Latin name for the tropical sea snail known as the murex which originally gave us purple dye.
What things come to mind when you think of purple? Do you love or hate it?
You see, even my sign off is purple!
If you want to know more, check out the comprehensive Wikipedia page about Purple.