Author Topic: Plants named after coins  (Read 2136 times)

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Austrokiwi

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Plants named after coins
« on: December 20, 2009, 08:24:29 AM »
Firstly I have no idea if this is the right part of the Forum to post this thread ( to any moderator I apologise if this is the wrong place)


In another post under Germany and Austria I have asked a question about a possible South African plant named after a 1780 Maria Theresa Thaler. Out of  curiosity I am posting this thread hoping to see how many other plants are named (common names) after coins: the ones I know of definitely are:


Are there any other plants that can be added to this list?

Offline UK Decimal +

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Re: Plants named after coins
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2009, 10:01:55 AM »
Perhaps the opposite to what you're asking, but I believe it deserves a mention.

The word thrift means (in England) being careful about spending money.   It is also a flowering plant.   When a replacement for small silver coins was required in the UK in 1937, the thrift was chosen as the design, and was used until 1952.   It was a play on words which I think makes it interesting here.   The reverse of the 1937 brass 3d (three pence, pre-decimal) is shown here.

Bill.
Ilford, Essex, near London, England.

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Offline chrisild

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Re: Plants named after coins
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2009, 11:00:33 AM »
In German, we have the Pfennigkraut. The Latin name would be "Lysimachia nummularia". Then there is Hellerkraut; I thought that was just a different (southern) name for the same plant, but it seems to be a different one (e.g. Acker-Hellerkraut, Thlaspi arvense). In both cases the name refers to the shape of the leaf or bloom - they (sort of) look like pfennig or heller coins. Well, when the terms were coined, pfennigs were a bit larger than they were in the late 20th century ...

There is also Tausendgüldenkraut (Centaurium erythraea). The German name probably refers to the high value (1000 gulden) of the plant, as it was and is used for medical purposes.

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Plants named after coins
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 07:02:36 PM »
Lunarta Annua (annual honesty) may also be known in the United States as "Silver Dollars," because of the seed pods. In Denmark it is known as Judaspenge and in The Netherlands as Judaspenning (coins of Judas) because of its resemblance to silver coins, a reference to Judas Iscariot.

Mint (mentha) is a species of plants called munt in Dutch, which is also the word for coin...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Re: Plants named after coins
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 02:18:33 AM »


There is also Tausendgüldenkraut (Centaurium erythraea). The German name probably refers to the high value (1000 gulden) of the plant, as it was and is used for medical purposes.

Christian

This may just be "folk etymology", but to me, "Centaurium" looks a bit like it might have something to do with 100 gold pieces (cent + aurium ...), but I could be wildly wrong.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Plants named after coins
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 02:53:08 AM »
Right, "folk etymology". From what I have read, the botanic name refers to the centaur Chiron, thus Centaur-ium. In later years - when the knowledge about Greek mythology was not exactly common, but Latin was understood better - the term Centaurium was believed to be a contraction of centum and aurum, as you wrote. However, a thousand is better or sounds better than a hundred, so ...

Whether the gülden/gulden part refers to gold or to a gulden coin, I don't know. But people say "Hundert-Euro-Schein" (100 euro note), so why not "Tausend-Gulden-Kraut" (1000 gulden herb) if you think it's worth a lot as medicine? :)

http://www.henriettesherbal.com/eclectic/madaus/erythraea.html
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echtes_Tausendgüldenkraut#Namensgebung

Christian