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Trondheim, Norway

Furuset K.,Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole
Blyttia | Year: 2012

Dwarf cornel Chamaepericlymenum suecicum (syn. Comus suecica) is a boreal species with its main distribution in Norway, Sweden and northern Finland. The fruits are red and tempting, but spongy and tasteless. Therefore, a number of pejorative names have been applied to the species; most common in Norway is «skrubbe» or «skrubbær», which may be interpreted to mean «foam-berries» or «porous, spongy berries».

Northern wolfsbane Aconitum lycoctonum ssp. septentrionale and mezereon Daphne mezereum are two of the most toxic plants in Scandinavia. In Norwegian they are called «tyrihjelm» and «tysbast», although «tyrhjelm» and «tybast» would be more correct. The German linguist Jacob Grimm derived both names from the Norse deities Tyr or Thor, whereas the botanist Rolf Nordhagen suggested that «tyrihjelm» is derived from an ancient word meaning «curl» because of the curled nectaries inside the flowers. Neither of the interpretations sound convincing, and more likely, «tyr-» and «ty-» are Norse pírr = slave and jbý = female slave. This makes the names pejorative and comparable to other pejorative names of the species.

Furuset K.,Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole
Blyttia | Year: 2011

In Scandinavia, Oxycoccus sp. is called «tranebær» or «tranbær». Traditionally, the name has been interpreted as meaning craneberries («trane» = crane, «bær» = berries), but is more likely derived from an ancient word «traner» meaning berries. The suffix «bær» has probably been added when the meaning of «traner» was forgotten.

Vernacular plant names are an important part of ethnobotany, and for Norwegian plant names, the works of Ivar Aasen (1860) and Ove Arbo Høeg (1974) are the most used sources. Less known is that Idar Handagard (1874-1959) has collected a considerable number of plant names from the first decades of the twentieth century. He never completed his collections, but his unpublished manuscript and plant name records are available at the National Library in Oslo.

Furuset K.,Dronning Mauds Minne Hogskole
Blyttia | Year: 2010

In contemporary Norwegian, «mure» (= moor) and «maure» (= madder) are plant names denoting the genera Argentina/ Potentilla and Galium respectively. Formerly, only Argentina anserina was called «mure» and Galium boreale and G. verum «maure». Probably both names are derived from an ancient word meaning root, which In vernacular names always means usable root or rhizome. Roots of A. anserina are edible and rhizomes of G. boreale and G. verum have been collected for dyeing wool.

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