Lately I have been fascinated by all the plants that have references to Mary in their names. Rosemary, Meramieh (Arabic for sage), Bukhoor Maryam (Arabic for Maryams incense referring to the native cyclamen flower – will discuss at a later point). There seem to be so many references to Mary, even to plants that don’t bear her name. Thyme is said to have been put in the manger after Jesus was born, hence where it got its incredible scent. The milky lines on the leaves of Milk Thistle is said to the milk of mother Mary herself.
And this rose of Mary also bears a story. So it goes that while Mary was on her way to Egypt, she came to rest next to a rosemary bush. When she threw her blue cape onto the bush she turned the white flowers blue, hence the name rose of Mary. Rosemary is linked to remembrance, and said to help increase memory. There are many instances in history where it is said that people wore it as a crown on their head, or wove it into their hair, so the scent could help them to remember. One of the Arabic names “ikleel al jabal” refers to this plant as the crown of the mountain.
One of my favorite plants that is for sure.