Notes Golden Thistle

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

Canticles 2:1-2 (KJV)

I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens.

Canticles 2:1-2 (RSV)

A mere saffron of the costal plain, I am a lily of the low plains. Like a lily among thorny weeds, so is my girl companion among the daughters.

Canticles 2:1-2 (NWT)

I was really surprised to find mention of saffron in the NWT, and even more intrigued when I read in FAC and TAN that the flowers of this species are used as a substitute or adulterant of saffron. But I suppose the KJV and RSV translation is better: rose of Sharon. However, for the Scolymus, I will concur with Zohary when he suggests that the quoted verse is from one of nine containing the biblical word hoah (plural hohim), apparently suggesting to him a ruderal in calcareous ruins and neglected places (Scolymus hispanicus) and a weed in alluvial wheat fields (Scolymus maculatus). The two species are keyed as follows:

• Florets orange yellow; white-hairy outside; stem wings interrupted; leaves without marginal white nerve: Scolymus hispanicus

• Florets lemon yellow; with long dark hairs outside; stem wings continuous; leaves with a thick marginal white nerve: Scolymus maculatus

After 30 years of compiling, I finally, as I recall, met the useful word lithuretic in PubMed abstract X9434612, but I added the word litholytic, knowing that was the word I had used more often. But there really is a difference: lithuretic seems to mean helping pass stones or gravel through the urethra or in the urine. Finding a lot on the food value but little on the medicinal value, I grabbed for the lithuretic new word.

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