sophronitis

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Pantalaimon: Derived from the Greek elements παν (pan) meaning “all” and ελεημων (eleemon) meaning “compassionate” (i.e. “mercy for everyone”). Alternatively from παντελεία (panteleya), meaning “perfection.” Saint Pantaleon (also called Panteleimon), a doctor from Asia Minor, is a patron saint of doctors and midwives.

Stelmaria: From Latin Stella Maris, another name for Polaris, the North or Pole Star. Stella Maris was, from an early time, also used as a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in her capacity as a guide and protector of those who travel or seek their livelihoods on the ocean. 

Anfang: German. “start, beginning, origin.” From Middle High German anvanc, anevanc, from Old High German anafang, Old Saxon “clutch, embrace.”

Salcilia: From Latin salsus, “salty” (both literally, and in the sense of witty or funny) and also a verb meaning “preserve with salt; sprinkle salt before a sacrifice.” The -cilia could be from Latin -cil (āre), combining form of calāre, “to summon, convoke.” This servant-boy’s name could therefore figuratively mean “to call for the salt.”

Sophonax: From Greek elements σοφία (sophia) “wisdom” & αναξ (anax) “master, lord.” (Possibly influenced by spelling of Greek σωφρων (sophron) “self-controlled, sensible.”)

Belisaria: Fem. form of Belisarius, the Latinized form of Greek Βελισάριος (Belisarios), possibly from Slavonic Beli-tzar “white prince” (the -sarius element being interpreted as coming from the old Slavic word tsesar or tsesari, which was derived from Caesar, thus giving Belisarius a “princely” connotation). This was the name of a famed Byzantine general and war hero.

Cattleya acuensis

This marvellous miniature orchid has a flower with a brilliant colour and gem-like sparkle.  I grow it bright and cool, next to Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and Angræcum germinyanum.

This orchid was named after the mountain it comes from, Mt. Açu, the second highest peak in the splendid Organ Mountains (Serra dos Órgãos) National Park.  This species occurs between 1800-2300m elevation. 

The taxonomist who named it may not have understood that that the c-cedilla (ç) in açuensis isn’t permitted by the nomenclatural rules of Botanical Latin and should have spelled it assuensis to mimic the phonetic sound of its namesake, Açu.

© Uluwehi Knecht (text and photo)