Sunday, March 23, 2008

Apple #305: Easter Lilies and FishFish

First things first. Happy Easter, everybody!

Easter Lily
(Photo from Wikimedia)

Texas A&M has a page full of interesting stuff about Easter Lilies, such as:
  • Easter Lilies are native to Japan. They were first brought to the US after World War I, when a soldier planted several hybrid bulbs on the south coast of Oregon in 1919.
  • Their popularity in the US exploded during World War II when, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it became extremely difficult to get Easter Lilies.
  • Now, 95% of Easter Lilies sold in the US are grown in a very small region along the California-Oregon border, near where that soldier planted his first hybrid bulbs.
  • The bulbs take three to four years before they are ready to be potted and forced to bloom in time for Easter.
  • Lots of traditions and legends surround the connection between Easter and Easter Lilies, but here is one particularly compelling item:
      • White lilies were found growing in the Garden of Gethsemane, where before Jesus was arrested, he prayed so fervently "his sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground." Tradition has it that where the drops of his blood fell, lilies grew.


The next item on my list is to note that yesterday was FishFish's second birthday -- believe it or not. For those who may not know who or what FishFish is, he's my betta fish. And technically, he's more than two years old because two years ago yesterday is actually the anniversary of when I brought him home from the pet store. But he's still coming along swimmingly (har har), thanks in no small part to kind friends who look after him while I'm gadding about in other parts of the country.

For more about FishFish, in the right-hand frame under the section Browse the Daily Apple, click on the betta fish link.

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