Ancient word of the day: vernation

Ancient word of the day: vernation

Today’s ancient word of the day is vernation. This is the genesis of new leaves sprouting during springtime. This is the arrangement of the buds as they erupt forth into the world.

Vernation comes from the Latin vernare, meaning to flourish, be verdant and also from Ver the Latin word for spring time. In ferns, vernation is, beautifully, “circinate” or rolled up into an intricate embrace.

The Tree by Jones Very (1885)

“I love thee when thy swelling buds appear And one by one their tender leaves unfold, As if they knew that warmer suns were near …”
Nor longer sought to hide from winter’s cold;
And when with darker growth thy leaves are seen
To veil from view the early robin’s nest,
I love to lie beneath thy waving skreen
With limbs by summer’s heat and toil opprest;
And when the autumn winds have stript thee bare,
And round thee lies the smooth untrodden snow,
When nought is thine that made thee once so fair,
I love to watch thy shadowy form below,
And through thy leafless arms to look above
On stars that brighter beam when most we need their love.

Ancient word of the day: vernation
Ancient word of the day: vernation

“to spring as herbs do; to burgeon; to sing cheerfully as birds do; when bees begin to breed & bring forth new swarms; the ground waxeth green with grass; the old skin of an adder that he casteth in the spring; sometime age.” – variations on “vernare” in Cooper’s Thesaurus (1578)

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

2 thoughts on “Ancient word of the day: vernation

  1. In a previous life as a teacher of biology we taught about ‘vernalisation’. This is the natural process whereby a long cold period stimulates a plant to produce flowers in the spring. Just this year I placed some tulip bulbs into the refrigerator for a couple of months to simulate a cold winter as Long Jetty doesn’t get cold enough for long enough. [Though this year it feels so much colder than usual – maybe it is just me getting older??] Some people might say that human intervention of such is not a natural process. But humans are animals with brains that have evolved to the extent that we can see patterns such as vernalisation and invent things like refrigerators. Plus we love flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

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