Anyone heard of a flower called "aniccam?"

Dominic Goodall dominic.goodall at GMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 21 23:31:19 EDT 2010


This reminds me that in the hills in the South today one finds plenty  
of Mimosa pudica, whose leaves temporarily fold up the second that you  
touch them, or indeed blow on them.

But I am not sure how long these plants have been growing there, for  
the Pandanus website (http://iu.ff.cuni.cz/pandanus/database/),
quoting Dymock, Warden, Hooper: Pharmacographia Indica, vol. I, pp.  
538-539, calls Mimosa pudica a "native of Brazil long naturalized in  
India".

Dominic Goodall

On 21 Mar 2010, at 21:39, Michael Witzel wrote:

> The whole discussion (here and in Tamil) reminded me of the little  
> yellow  flower,  called 'noli me tangere' "don't touch me!" in Latin.
>
> For some details see: <http://www.aboutflowers.org/giantbalsamim_xal.htm 
> >  (also in N. India)
>
> (Leaves of certain trees also do that: they fold on touch).
>
> Cheers,
> MW
>
>
> On Mar 21, 2010, at 11:54 AM, rajam wrote:
>
>> Dear Whitney,
>>
>> The poems don't indicate that the flower perishes, though. The  
>> emphasis is on its delicateness, softness, and gentleness. So I  
>> wonder whether the flower's "reflex" action ("to wilt" when someone  
>> smells it) fascinated the poet. Maybe one could find a similar  
>> flower somewhere -- I hope!
>>
>> Thanks and regards,
>> VSR
>>
>> On Mar 21, 2010, at 1:18 AM, Whitney Cox wrote:
>>
>>> Dear Rajam,
>>>
>>> In line with your observation that the flower is supposedly "super
>>> sensitive", it seems possible to me that the derivation of the name
>>> might be from a-nitya ("impermanent," "perishable"), rather than
>>> an+icchā (I see that the MTL, p. 191 thinks the same thing).   
>>> However,
>>> I don't know of any flower called anitya in Sanskrit.
>>>
>>> Best regards,
>>>
>>> Whitney
>>>
>>> On 21 March 2010 06:00, rajam <rajam at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>>> Has anyone on this list come across a plant/flower type named  
>>>> "aniccha" in
>>>> any non-Tamil literature?
>>>> Has anyone seen it (in person or in a picture)?
>>>>
>>>> "Aniccam" is listed just as a flower in early Tamil poetry. Later  
>>>> on, the
>>>> focus is on the flower's super sensitivity--about how it would  
>>>> wilt at the
>>>> contact of human breath, how it would harm a woman [with a  
>>>> slender waist] if
>>>> she wears the flower without removing its stem, ... and so on.
>>>>
>>>> There is a thought that the term "anicca" is derived thus: a +  
>>>> iccha (a +
>>>> icchaa - Without Desire/Wish).
>>>>
>>>> What is your thought? Are there similar flowers extolled in non- 
>>>> Tamil poetry
>>>> for such super sensitivity?
>>>>
>>>> Thanks and regards,
>>>> V.S. Rajam
>>>> < (www.letsgrammar.org)>
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> -- 
>>>
>>>
>>> Dr. Whitney Cox
>>> Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia,
>>> School of Oriental and African Studies
>>> Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
>>> London WC1H 0XG
>
> ============
> Michael Witzel
> witzel at fas.harvard.edu
> <www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm>
>
> Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
> 1 Bow Street,
> Cambridge MA 02138, USA
>
> phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295, 496 8570, fax 617 - 496 8571;
> my direct line:  617- 496 2990



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