There are a dozen species of Melampodium and I wonder which one Linnaeus was looking at when he honored Melampus with the genus name. And, I wonder when the genus name started being misinterpreted to mean blackfoot and not honoring the mythological soothsayer.
Anyway, another cool thing about Melampus, besides him being a legendary soothsayer was that he was “reputed to understand the speech of all creatures.” My kind of guy…er, god. So, a fun discovery for me in an old paperback booklet of plant names.
Lemme see…oh, if you are interested in other plants named from Greco-Roman mythology (not me, of course), the book Gods and Goddesses in the Garden by Peter Bernhardt is a fun read and though Melampus isn’t mentioned, there are plenty other mythological characters and botany through out. Yay!
The photos are mine. I’m always sticking my hand in photos for some scale. And, the little purple flower peeking through is the wonderful Allionia.