Or how about Stipa ucrainica (a video made in the Rock Alpine Garden of Denver Botanic Gardens a few years ago) which may be even more appropriate...but I digress.
The real impetus for this blog post is this book. I have been plodding, or I should say, browsing through this contemporary Anthropological/Linguistic/Archeological/Historical classic by David Anthony: an astonishing tour-de-force filled with exhaustive data compiled through a suite of sciences that traces the parameters of the prehistoric Indo-European people and language in time and space. There was a pretty precise historical moment and spot (I shall not reveal when or where, however) when a rag tag tribe of steppe wanderers tamed the horse, invented the wheel and wagon and proceeded to explode their population astronomically, and expand their homeland from a few hundred miles of the Ukraine and neighboring Russia to much of Eurasia--all within a matter of centuries. What a story!
|Fernleaf peony is almost more lovely in bud than in flagrant bloom|
I was astonished to learn that horses that were the predominant ungulate prey of those ancestral Indo-Europeans. I don't think horses were terribly fond of eating peonies for fodder--which may explain while these are still relatively common on the pastures around the Caucasus where they occur. Of course, this is just one of hundreds of spectacular wildflowers that were trod upon and enjoyed by these ancestors of nearly three billion contemporary human beings. Is it perhaps not an accident that this exquisite gem that accompanied their wanderings strikes us as now as iconic?
|Double flowered fernleaf peony and Paeonia ostii in Plantasia DBG|
Yes..half the world are Russians and don't even know it! Viva Мать Россия! The land of fernleaf peonies and so many of my favorite authors, painters and composers...